After two straight weekends where Kingston Police and bylaw officers have had their hands full dealing with street parties, the city is looking ahead at what could be yet another weekend of downtown crowds.
Last weekend, local officers saw support by the bus load from multiple outside police forces including Durham, Toronto, Ontario Provincial Police, and nearby Belleville and Gananoque.
Jon Baldwin, supervisor of licensing and enforcement, says officers don’t expect quite the same street presence as the last two weekends, but says bylaw officers will be “staffed appropriately” for Halloween weekend and working with community partners.
Baldwin says the last two weeks, officers have faced similar levels of disrespect from party goers, which has extended well before the last two chaotic weekends.
“For at least the last two months our officers have continued to see aggressive and disrespectful behaviour coming from the partiers,” Baldwin said.
Constable Greg Andersen of the Kingston Police added that crowds were smaller last weekend, but that officers still faced a similar disrespectful and confrontational crowd.
He added that Kingston Police will again have an increased presence to face Halloween weekend, but did not have any numbers as to what that may look like.
Although representatives from neither bylaw nor Kingston Police would comment on Queen’s role in subduing the illegal street parties, there has been a consistent and growing sense of resentment from some members of the community towards Queen’s students, as well as the University itself for not taking a stronger stance.
Last weekend, Kingston’s Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen turned his focus on the issue, sharing a Facebook post that looks to encourage Kingston residents to voice their displeasure with the lack of action by Queen’s Principal Patrick Deane.
In the post Gerretsen included the contact information for the Board of Trustees and the Senate of Queen’s which Deane reports to.
On Sunday, Gerretsen followed that up with a post that read “Ever wonder why we never hear about RMC students causing problems in our streets? Because proper disciplinary measures are used for code of conduct violations”.
A handful of commenters on Gerretsen’s posts, however, pointed the finger right back at the MP and the rest of the city’s landlords for profiting off of the student ghetto that they now condemn so strongly.
At last weekend’s parties, $68,700 in fines were handed out.