Partial lockdown of schools, large police presence worries Mississauga residents

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Published May 9, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Two public schools in south Mississauga were in partial lockdown for just over an hour on Monday afternoon (May 8) as police dealt with what they initially thought may have been a call at a nearby home that involved a weapon.

The “hold-and-secure” status for an hour and four minutes at Green Glade Senior and Owenwood public schools, in addition to a large police presence in the normally quite Clarkson neighbourhood near Rattray Marsh, concerned residents in the community.

Many of them flooded Peel Regional Police with phone calls and emails wanting to know what was happening, Cst. Tyler Bell told insauga.com in a phone interview today (May 9).

As it turned out, police say the situation was resolved “without incident.”

Bell said the initial call of a “person in crisis” who was confined to a home in the area near the two schools prompted precautionary “hold-and-secure” orders at 1:47 p.m. because police thought the person may have had access to a weapon or weapons.

“If there’s a risk (the person) could go mobile, we let schools in the area know,” said Bell, adding concerns over a weapon or weapons turned out to be unfounded.

He added the “hold-and-secure” orders were lifted at 2:51 p.m. and the initial call concluded “without incident.”

During the course of their response, police set up a command post at the nearby Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at 1381 Lakeshore Rd. W., just across the street from Owenwood Public School.

The concentration of numerous police cars there also contributed to concern among residents.

“We had cops all over our neighbourhood, like 10 squad cars parked at the Jehovah’s Hall on Lakeshore alone,” one resident wrote in an email to insauga.com. “And a drone flying over the area…my son was pretty upset by it and kind (of) freaked out to go back to school today.”

A “hold-and-secure” order at a school is more precautionary than anything else, officials say, and does not suggest the presence of an imminent threat as does a full “lockdown.”

Bell said while police are happy to respond to residents wanting to know what happened in their neighbourhood, schools must also fully inform students and their parents in these situations.

Map shows area of concern as Peel Regional Police responded to a “person in crisis” call Monday afternoon in the Clarkson area of south Mississauga. Two schools, Green Glade Senior Public School (bottom of map) and Owenwood Public School (at top), were put in “hold-and-secure” mode as a precaution. 

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