Edmonton-Space Household Involved About Lack of Communication Throughout Rec-Heart Lockdown – EdmontonNews WAALI

Rayne-Anne Oosterveld and her two children were enjoying their Wednesday night at Meadows Rec Center until the night took an unexpected turn.

“We started walking and then heard a woman stop people in the hallway and say we were in lockdown,” Oosterveld said.

Unsure of what to do or where to go, she spoke to several staff members.

“This lady says we can go, this lady says we have to go to the gym, [this lady] say we need to be in the foyer. I thought I need to know where we can go to be safe,” said Oosterveld.

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Still not sure what the lockdown was for, Oosterveld said everyone had eventually been told to go to the gym.

On the way she found a hiding place where she played games with her children and tried to calm them down. Oosterveld said staff said they couldn’t tell her what happened, and Oosterveld said it scared her family even more.

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Oosterveld said that eventually a voice came over the intercom saying the building is closed, please leave. That didn’t help much, she said.

“It was also unsettling because we didn’t feel entirely safe when exiting the building. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t know if it was safe for me to go to my car,” said Oosterveld.

Police said the lockdown was in response to an email threat. A 33-year-old man has been arrested and faces charges of making threats.

The city said it is discussing the situation with its employees.

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“[It’s] difficult to communicate with each individual. So far we are happy with the situation and how our employees have been handling it and everyone is safe,” said Roger Jevne, Edmonton City Branch Manager for Community Recreation and Culture.

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Oosterveld said while she’s glad she and her children are safe, she hopes there will be better communication in future emergencies.

“Employees within a two-meter radius had mixed information, so it seemed pretty clear to me that they weren’t sure what to do in a scenario like this,” Oosterveld said.

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