Party proves pricey

Kingston Police will pay at least $231,000 for Abderdeen

Insp. Brian Cookman says Kingston Police don’t like to impose on other forces.
Insp. Brian Cookman says Kingston Police don’t like to impose on other forces.
Photo: 

Over the Friday and Saturday of Homecoming weekend, the Kingston Police Force worked a 33-hour shift that will cost them at least $7,000 per hour.

Approximately 230 officers from the Kingston Police, the Toronto police and the Ontario Provincial Police patrolled the student Ghetto from 7 p.m. Friday evening until 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

The Kingston Police are obligated to pay a minimum $33,000 to cover the cost of overtime for the two outside police forces, but it’s up to the heads of those police forces to decide if they will ask for more.

If the OPP and the Toronto Police waive the value of their “soft costs”—the costs of regular operations—the minimum cost of the weekend’s festivities to the Kingston police will be $231,000.

If both the OPP and the Toronto Police decide to bill the Kingston Police for the full cost of their officers’ salaries, the weekend could cost the city’s police force as much as $353,000.

The bill for last year’s event came to $352,740. Kingston Police paid less than $10,000 to the OPP, which sent a public order unit to help the Kingston police.

Kingston Chief of Police Bill Closs said the force’s partners were extremely generous with their time and resources. He said the event was a thankless one for police.

“Some of the officers doing that for 33 hours were given a four hour break and if they happen to fall asleep in those four hours, then they got some sleep,” he said during a police service board meeting yesterday.

The Toronto Police are donating $23,000 of free time over and above the money they may bill the Kingston police for. The Aberdeen Street closure meant a smaller number of officers were required to police the event, saving the Kingston Police more than $60,000. Reusing research and planning information from 2006 saved more than $30,000.

Insp. Brian Cookman, who lead police operations for the weekend, said he doesn’t want to impose upon outside forces any more than necessary because it lessens available protection for other areas of the province.

“They’re diminishing their capacity for Kingston,” he said.

The O.P.P. sent two of its Public Safety Units, made up of approximately 30 officers each, to Kingston for the weekend. The Toronto Police sent one.

Between 7 p.m Friday and 4 a.m Sunday, police received 91 calls to the service zone referred to as Queensville—the area bordered by Victoria, Brock, Clergy and Union streets.

Over the course of the weekend, police laid at least 558 charges, primarily for liquor-related offences, and made 756 arrests. At least 10 of those arrested were Queen’s students.

Cookman, who was in charge of operations relating to Homecoming, said the Kingston Police don’t care whether Queen’s pays for the event, as city council has requested.

“That is out of our hands,” he said. “We’re charged with keeping law and order and that’s what we do and handling any funding afterward is up to the politicians.”

He said not knowing who will pay for the extra policing costs hasn’t affected the way officers do their jobs.

“We’re not going to stop policing Aberdeen halfway through because we don’t think we have the money.”

Homecoming by the numbers

76

total number of arrests in the Ghetto

69

arrests for public intoxication

4

arrests for breach of the peace

1

arrest for impaired (care and control)

1

arrest for mischief (damage to auto)

1

arrest for assault/resist/escape

3

drivers with open liquor

33

people charged for underage drinking

69

people charged for public intoxication

410

tickets for open liquor in public

31

people charged with liquor licence offences at seven keggers

17

kegs seized at seven keggers

$84,000

salary for OPP forces

$40,000

food, transportation, telecommunications and miscellaneous equipment for Kingston police

$34,000

salary for Toronto Police Services

$33,000

coverage of Aberdeen by outside agencies (OPP, Toronto police)

$20,000

Kingston police planning/implementation

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.