Kingston Police increase presence in University District ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

Kingston Police officers handing out information regarding large gatherings and police enforcement in the University District of downtown Kingston during St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2021. Photo via Kingston Police.

Those in the University District can expect to see an increased presence of police and bylaw officers in their neighbourhood as St. Patrick’s Day approaches.

In a media release, dated Friday, Mar. 1, 2024, Kingston Police noted that “an educational approach” will take place in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

“This approach will see Kingston Police and partner agencies, including City of Kingston Bylaw, engage and speak to residents in and around the University District about the importance of safe, responsible, and lawful celebrations,” police said.

“As agencies serving the Kingston community, we do not accept that any community gatherings or events should result in serious injuries and/or unlawful activity.”

This is undoubtedly a familiar routine for those in the University District, as police teams and City of Kingston bylaw officers have performed community outreach the district for the past few years, ahead of the usually busy St. Patrick’s Day and Homecoming weekends. Earlier this year, Kingstonist reported on changes to the way Kingston Police perform this outreach after attending OPP Police Liaison Team (PLT) training in February 2023.

“We’ve been incorporating a PLT approach to community events, particularly in Kingston for St. Patrick’s Day and Homecoming. And we included it in our operational planning as a means to mitigate ahead of time for effective results at some of these gatherings,” Staff Sergeant Carla Stacey said at the time.

According to today’s release, Police Liaison Team officers will proactively engage Kingston community residents in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 15 to 17, 2024 to provide information and address concerns related to social gatherings.

The University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) will be in effect from 12 a.m. on Monday, Mar. 11, to Monday, Mar. 18 at 11:59 p.m.

“During the University District Safety Initiative, persons charged with offences against the Liquor Licence Control Act (LLCA) are required to attend a mandatory court appearance and may face increased fines that are above legislative set fines,” police stated.

Approaching St. Patrick’s Day weekend, police presence will increase to “ensure safe and law-abiding behaviour focusing on Liquor Licence Control Act and By-Law related offences as well as general conduct issues,” according to the release.

“It is important that everyone use prudence in ensuring that they are being safe and respectful neighbours in this beautiful City of Kingston,” Kingston Police stressed.

“Our priority is the safety of our community while maintaining a reasonable and appropriate level of enforcement.”

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