Of­fi­cers work­ing to make it home, sweet home for stu­dents

Waterloo Region Record - - LOCAL - Laura Booth, Record staff

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.

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