Officers working to make it home, sweet home for students
WATERLOO — Universities and surrounding student neighbourhoods can expect to see more police and bylaw officers this weekend as Homecoming kicks off another school season.
“We’ll have teams of officers in the neighbourhood throughout the day and into the evening and overnight,” said Shayne Turner, director of municipal enforcement services with the City of Waterloo.
“We know that there’s going to be some events out on the streets and on front lawns — we want (students) to proactively work with us to control litter and garbage issues.”
For example, supplies such as garbage bags will be available for students if needed, said Turner.
Laurier expects about 10,000 people to attend a weekend of festivities and events that include Saturday’s football game between the Golden Hawks and the Mustangs.
“We have more than 40 uniformed law enforcement personnel on the ground throughout the weekend,” said Kevin Crowley, director of communications at Laurier.
“That includes Waterloo Regional Police, it includes the university’s special constables and it includes paid security guards.”
The university has also undertaken a number of other measures to control crowds, such as having students living in university-owned residents refrain from having guests over.
“We’re enforcing that with a wristband policy,” said Crowley.
“If you’re a student in one of our residence buildings you’re getting a colour-coded wristband and we’ll have security people at all the entrances to our residence buildings making sure it’s just students going in and out for the weekend.”
Preparations for handling the crowds as well as a weekend of cooler weather are expected to be factors in preventing a situation faced last weekend in Guelph — parties and litter left behind in a neighbourhood of student housing off campus.
“We are aware of what happened in Guelph,” said Crowley.
“We’re glad we don’t have the hot weather they had last weekend, I think that will be one of the mitigating factors for us.”
Also, police, bylaw officers and university students in Waterloo undertook an annual door-knocking and information campaign aimed at reminding students of important bylaws and federal and provincial laws they are expected to abide by.
And on Friday, the Waterloo Regional Police Service took to social media to outline the potential consequences of committing certain offences.
Facing, for instance, fines of $125 for underage drinking or for consuming liquor in public.
“I think the most important part that we benefit from is a great relationship with our students,” said Insp. Mike Haffner, with Waterloo Regional Police Service.