toronto police presence

Toronto Police spark fear and panic with alarming tweet

Toronto Police say they've received information about a "potential threat to public safety" somewhere in the GTA — but they won't reveal what that threat is, or why they've flooded major Toronto tourist attractions with Emergency Task Force officers.

News of the situation first broke with a cryptic tweet around 9:30 a.m.

"We are responding to an unconfirmed, uncorroborated piece of information relating to the GTA," reads the message from Toronto Police. "As a result of this information, you will see an increased number of police officers throughout the city and, specifically, in the downtown core."

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office weighed in a short time later to say that Ford had been briefed by the Provincial Security Advisor and "is actively monitoring the situation" in Toronto.

York Regional Police said similarly just before 11:30 a.m. that they were "working closely with emergency service partners across the GTA as we investigate & respond to the information we have received."

Meanwhile, photos started pouring in from reporters and citizens who noted a massive police presence near the CN Tower and Rogers Centre.

Canada's Wonderland is also crawling with police officers, some of whom are reportedly using a drone to get an aerial look at the park.

Some people were freaked out, but comforted by the news that a police update would be provided late this morning at Bobbie Rosenfeld Park near Bremner Boulevard and Lower Simcoe Street.

That update revealed little more than the fact that Toronto Police are aware of a Foo Fighters concert at the Rogers Centre tonight.

Acting Superintendent Michael Barsky, who is also the Unit Commander at 52 Division, repeatedly told reporters that he could not comment on anything relating to an active investigation.

"The police presence in this area is simply to ensure that the public can come down and enjoy the area in peace," he said, prompting someone to ask why, then, the police issued that ominous tweet.

"I’m not going to speculate on how people interpret the message."

Barksy bounced back and forth during the short press conference from saying things like "we received information that there is a potential risk to public safety" to "we encourage everyone to come down and enjoy the city."

Those listening were confused and, in some cases, upset by the vague information released by police.

Barksy did say that he'd provide more specifics if he could — and as some on Twitter note, the cops likely know what they're doing here.

"We are evaluating this as it goes on," said Barsky, "And will continue to do so."

In the meantime, try not to trip over all the cop cars, cop bikes, cop motorcycles, cop dogs and cops in downtown Toronto right now.

Lead photo by

wyliepoon


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