Kingston Police Services Board hears St. Patrick’s Day expenses, incident rates, and more

Kingstonist file photo.

Calls to police are up by six per cent, including a shocking more than 325 per cent increase in robberies over the same time last year. This and more were discussed as the Kingston Police Services Board held its April Meeting Thursday, Apr. 20, 2023.

Acting Chief Scott Fraser began by submitting the Quarterly Statistical Report for the first quarter of 2023. Though police calls have increased by more than six per cent (630 calls) compared to last year, according to the report, caution should be exercised when interpreting these statistics. They represent a snapshot in time and are subject to change, as they relate to investigations that are ongoing. Through investigation, it may be determined that the classification must be re-coded (for example, re-coded from “Criminal Harassment” to “Harassing Phone Calls”).

A chart depicting the changes in this year’s statistics from the same period of time last year. Graphic via Kingston Police Services Board report.

Other notable statistics included a decrease of assault calls by 17 per cent, while criminal harassment increased by 85 per cent, and sexual offence calls increased by 60 per cent. It is important to take into consideration, however, that these percentage changes can refer to a small number more or less of each offence.

Volunteers

Fraser also submitted for the Board’s information the Kingston Police Community Volunteers (KPCV) Annual Summary of Activities & Financial Report for 2022. In that report, he noted that KPCV has had its activities reduced over the past year due to COVID-19 and events that usually happen being cancelled until the case numbers improve.

He also pointed out that “ it’s been a trying year” for KPCV due to volunteers moving away for new jobs; their strength was reduced to around 40 volunteers. Fortunately, they were able to do a recruitment drive in late September and have now taken on 10 more volunteers who started in February of 2023.

“With the lower numbers of remaining volunteers,” he stated, “we were able to pull together to cover as many of the events which they could handle without burning out its members. We will be recruiting new members this year to bring the strength back up to a normal level.”

“Community Volunteers provide an enhanced presence for the Kingston Police at innumerable community events,” wrote the Chief. “Since the inception of the KPCV program, we have received many compliments on the presence of our Community Volunteers at special events and the many activities in which they engage for the betterment of our community,” 

St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Acting Chief Fraser also submitted a detailed financial report breaking down the policing costs of St. Patrick’s Day 2023 policing, the total of which was $140, 531.69.

Overtime salaries for Kingston Police accounted for $87,630 of that total, while paying Other Police Services to pitch in on St. Patrick’s Day cost $4,105.70 in salaries. However, food and accommodations for those involved totalled $22,603.23 (Kingston Police) and $22,184.48 (other police services) respectively.

Contracted Services such as a Shuttle ($1,665.00) Kingston Party Rentals tents ($720.46), Canadian Cleaning ($356.16), “supplies” and “other” ($1,266.66), made up the rest of the total cost. 

It should be noted that expenses related to St. Patrick’s Day last year in 2022 contributed to the Kingston Police budget deficit that occurred that year, with $83,000 in St. Patrick’s Day overtime alone incurred — $4,630 less than overtime costs this year.

Special Olympics

Acting Chief Fraser showed obvious excitement to talk about a happy occasion coming up in Kingston.

“We’re fortunate to be hosting the school championships, we’re going to be seeing somewhere between 900 and 1,100 athletes from around the province. Coming to Kingston. They are competing in five different events: bocce ball, track and field, basketball, soccer, and floor hockey,” he enthused.

“It’s going to be an amazing few days! We’re hoping the board may be able to participate. We have opening ceremonies, the law enforcement torch run, lighting the cauldron, we have opportunities where we can present medals… I’ll continue to provide the board with… an updated time of events and where they [will] be.” 

Most of these events, he said, are being held at  Queen’s University, but there will also be some other locations throughout the city of Kingston.

“A lot of excitement is being generated from this,” Fraser explained, “because we were supposed to do this a few years ago, but COVID prevented us. So now we’re hosting it; it’s going to be a very big event for Kingston and we’re really happy to have it.”

The board also noted the retirement of Sergeant Chris Bracken on April 30, 2023, before taking a moment of silence in honour of Sargeant Maureen Breau, a Quebec provincial police officer killed in a tragic stabbing on March 27, 2023.

One thought on “Kingston Police Services Board hears St. Patrick’s Day expenses, incident rates, and more

  • I guess I’m simple.
    Why are we/the city paying $140,000 for people to party?
    If we needed policing for a charitable event, there’d be a charge.
    Figure it out.
    Take names, charge Queen’s, hold an event on their football field, no objection to having fun, but $140K would go a long way to the homeless and hungry.

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