Queen’s commits funding to Kingston Police

Money is intended for events that typically drain KP force resources, such as Homecoming and St. Patrick's Day.

Police officers often monitor the streets of the University District during high-traffic events.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

As the school year re-commences, Principal Daniel Woolf has come to an agreement with the Kingston Police to contribute $300,000 to the force over the next three years. 

The funding, split into three annual $100,000 lump sums, is intended to continue the school’s commitment to provide monetary support to the local community police department.

At the time of the announcement, Woolf pointed to times over the course of a year when additional police resources are required on campus. The funding was also intended to express appreciation for the efforts of the Kingston Police to ensure safety in the Queen’s community.

Prior to the cancellation of Homecoming in 2009, Queen’s didn’t have a record of contributing financially to the police force, even after the school had been directly asked for one.

According to a recent article in The Kingston Whig-Standard, in 2010 the force spent an estimated $360,000 on unofficial Homecoming events. That year and the year prior, Toronto Police’s mounted unit and riot squad were called into Kingston.

With the re-instating of the formal weekend festivities in 2013, the $100,000 yearly donation was established following consultation with city representatives, students, Kingston Police, Police Services Board, Queen’s alumni and other community members.

The contribution is not only for offsetting the addition resources required at events like Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day, but also for outreach and engagement work.

During the Queen’s move-in day this year, the Kingston Police reported total occupation of University Avenue between William and Johnson Streets, from around 10:30 pm to 2:00 am.

During this time, due to the large crowd and broken glass, the supervising sergeant declared the area a safety hazard, with six members of the Emergency Response Unit called to keep the peace.

The following evening, during the same time frame, hundreds of students and party-goers took over University Avenue once again again. While Kingston Police were concerned about blocking potential lanes of travel for emergency services to get to Kingston General Hospital, no incidents were reported of either injury or criminal activity.

Two Queen’s students, both males aged 19 and 20, were arrested for public intoxication, with 38 Liquor License Act tickets issued. Most tickets were for open alcohol or underage drinking.

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