Street stays tame

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At its peak on Saturday night, Aberdeen Street had approximately 500 revelers — a much smaller turnout than in previous years.

Kingston Police Chief Stephen Tanner said he hopes Fauxcoming festivities will be confined to the last weekend.

Even so, Kingston Police officers are preparing for a possible follow-up and anticipate a similar crowd next weekend.

“We have to be ready for next weekend. It’s contingency planning,” Tanner said. “That’s the approach we’re taking this year.”

Last year, Kingston Police partnered with Ontario Provincial Police forces, the Toronto Police Service, including mounted units, Durham regional police and community police from Belleville, Brockville and Gananoque to ensure that enough resources were available for the street party.

This year, no additional resources were recruited but Tanner said he’ll call on them if necessary next weekend.

“We were hopeful that events from three, four, five years ago were behind us,” Tanner said.

While the next home football game is on Oct. 15, Tanner said he doesn’t anticipate an Aberdeen Street party that weekend.

“For me, the Aberdeen event was always in September,” he said.

A Kingston Police press release reported 101 liquor-related tickets between 8 a.m. on Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday.

Kingston police officer Dan Mastin has worked during Homecoming weekend for 23 years and said Saturday was a quiet evening compared to last year when the Aberdeen crowd reached over 1,500 people.

“[We’ve had] no real problems,” he told the Journal on Saturday night. “They’re young and having a good time.”

According to a police press release, attendees who received tickets identified themselves as from schools that included McGill, Guelph, Ryerson, Royal Military College, University of Toronto, Carleton and St. Lawrence College.

Kingston’s Mayor Mark Gerretsen said he didn’t know what to expect of the weekend, but the low turnout was a welcome surprise.

“I took a walk down Aberdeen Street. The street was by no means closed,” he said. “I was fairly impressed when you consider what we dealt with last year.”

Gerretsen said the atmosphere on Saturday night is an indication of the University’s progress to quell the party.

“It means that we’re taking a step in the right direction, that the problems we’ve had in the past are behind us,” he said.

Police officers were relatively relaxed last weekend, Christina Walsh, ArtSci ’12, said, adding that students responded to police presence based on how officers acted towards them.

“If we know there’s riot police, the students are going to show up for the riot police. If [police officers] keep calm and carry on, so will the students,” she said on Saturday night.

— With files from Clare Clancy, Katherine Fernandez-Blance, Carolyn Flanagan and Corey Lablans

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