Street party on Ezra Avenue costs region over $80,000

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Heather Davidson, File Photo

 

Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS) has announced that Wilfrid Laurier University’s 2017 homecoming cost the Region over 80,000 dollars to implement safety measures.

WRPS says the additional costs stem from additional amounts of overtime, event training and more.

With street parties on Ezra Avenue becoming increasingly bigger each year on both homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day, WRPS has expressed concerns regarding the amount of impact the party creates.

“As an organization we just don’t police Ezra Avenue and the university area, we police the whole Region of Waterloo and we have to maintain the safety and security of not only these students who are attending those areas for those days … but also the rest of the region as well,” Michael Haffner, executive officer at WRPS, said.

The growing number of costs, however, is just the beginning of the concerns being raised. The increasing number of students who come to Ezra Avenue often leads to critical safety concerns.

Every year, a lot of planning goes into ensuring student safety during homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day. WRPS works closely with the City of Waterloo and representative from Laurier’s Students’ Union to collaborate and organize these events.

However, the size of the street parties often forces WRPS to call in other police agencies to ensure that these street parties remain safe.

“We want people  and students especially — to enjoy their time, but we also need to understand that this is a huge impact on our resourcing,” Haffner said.

The growing number of costs, however, is just the beginning of the concerns being raised. The increasing number of students who come to Ezra Avenue often leads to critical safety concerns.

“We never want to be in a position where something tragic happens to students because of overcrowding or binge drinking and situations like that,” Haffner said.

Although planning has already begun for next year’s homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, it has yet to be confirmed as to whether of not the street party on Ezra Avenue will be allowed to commence.

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