Coopersville schools on lockdown

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Parents of students were asked not to pick up their kids during the lockdown. Parents were first notified via a post on the school district’s Facebook page at 3:20 p.m.

“We are experiencing a lockdown and all buildings are locked and students will be locked in their classroom until the Sheriff's Department authorizes dismissal,” the message read. “… We ask that you do not come to campus and pick up your child.”

The threat was called into Ottawa County Central Dispatch shortly before 3 p.m.

Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were immediately dispatched to the Coopersville campus and the on-site school resource deputy assisted with the lockdown. Roads that led to the campus were blocked by police during a search of the school buildings.

“As the school was being placed in lockdown, responding deputies checked the area for suspicious activity,” Bennett said. “Deputies also swept the interior of the buildings for any threats. After all was found safe, sheriff’s deputies assisted the school in the release of the lockdown.”

School officials notified parents at about 3:45 p.m. with another message on the district's Facebook page saying that “all students and staff are safe.” At 4 p.m., the district posted a message that the lockdown is over and everyone would soon be dismissed for the day, but the buses would be running late. However, it wasn’t until 4:11 p.m. that the police allowed pedestrian traffic onto the campus, but still not vehicles.

Bennett said the phone threat was received at Ottawa County Central Dispatch, and dispatchers attempted to keep the caller on the line as deputies rushed to the school campus.

“After some dialogue, the caller hung up,” Bennett said. “Investigators are continuing to work with Central Dispatch on determining the origin of the call. The threat was taken very serious, as evident by the response of emergency personnel to the scene.”

Anyone with information about the threat is asked to call Silent Observer at 877-88-SILENT or leave a tip online at mosotips.com.

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