Kingston Police saw a decrease in infractions this Homecoming weekend, and express their thanks to the community for respecting the suggestions of both KFL&A Public Health and the Kingston Police for celebrating in a safe and distanced fashion.
The decrease in infractions was seen in relation to unsanctioned parties, in comparison to previous years, Kingston Police said in a statement dated Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Proactive messaging and public education in advance of the weekend, in addition to overall community compliance, appeared to deter the gathering of the vast crowds often observed in the past.
Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely says “I would like to thank the vast majority of students who respected the current emergency orders and endeavoured to keep this community safe by respecting KFL&A Public Health guidelines. We sincerely appreciate the assistance of our community and law enforcement partners over this past weekend who worked collaboratively to keep Kingston safe.”
KFL&A Public Health guidelines and restrictions regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic were, for the most part, adhered to, police say. This year, alumni Homecoming celebrations were held virtually, which also helped decrease the number of visitors to the University District area.
Fines and charges laid over this past weekend, included:
- Seven Reopening Ontario Act notices for gatherings above the Provincial limits, for $880 each as a result of several unsanctioned gatherings in the University District,
- Seventeen Liquor Licence Act fines issued for having open alcohol,
- Five Administrative Monetary Penalties for bylaw offence notices were issued, including one for obstruct, three for amplification of sound, and one for hosting a nuisance party, and
- City Bylaw Enforcement Officers also issued 18 AMPs over the weekend for yelling and amplified noise.
“The positive outcomes from this weekend were the result of close collaboration between community partners,” says Dan Hazell, supervisor of Licensing and Enforcement for the City of Kingston. “Kingston Police and Bylaw officers were able to responsively address any nuisance behaviours to ensure that all residents had a safe and enjoyable weekend.”
“On behalf of the entire Queen’s community, I would like to thank our students for exercising good judgement and care for the community and respecting the guidelines imposed by our public health experts,” added Patrick Deane, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Queen’s University. “I also want to thank and congratulate our Advancement staff for finding a safe and creative way to celebrate Homecoming in these challenging times.”
“A huge thank you to the Queen’s University students and alumni for limiting large social gatherings and keeping Homecoming local this year,” says Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health. “Having a virtual event has minimized people travelling and the risk of importing new cases from areas where there is higher transmission of the virus. This will help to keep our region with one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the province.”