Kingston police will increase staff on St. Patrick’s Day and tickets won’t have court summons

Click to play video: 'Kingston prepares for possible St. Patrick’s Day street parties'
Kingston prepares for possible St. Patrick’s Day street parties
WATCH: Mayor Bryan Paterson and Kingston Police say there will be increased levels of police and bylaw officers working – Mar 7, 2022

Police in Kingston, Ont., will be increasing staffing levels for St. Patrick’s Day.

With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifting in Ontario, it could mean the return of large street parties in the University District.

A statement from Kingston Police outlined there will be a heightened police presence in the community on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Since history remains the best predictor for the future we have upstaffed in preparation of the date and police in attendance will be enforcing all available levels of the law,” the statement read.

Miranda Lacalamita, a first-year law student at Queen’s University, thinks St. Patrick’s Day could resemble pre-pandemic times.

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“Based off of homecoming I think it’s going to be big, personally,” she said.

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Second-year philosophy student Phoebe Schneider says there is a possibility for large unsanctioned parties but that she won’t be a part of them.

“The possibility is definitely there” said Schneider.

“I know that myself and my friends, we’re not going to do anything. We’re just going to stay home. There’s still a lot of studying to do; it is mid-term season.”

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson remains hopeful things won’t get out of hand.

“As always, whether it was before the pandemic or during the pandemic, we’re just asking that students would celebrate in the boundaries of our existing city bylaws like any other resident in our community,” said Paterson

This year will see a change with those who are on the receiving end of a fine at a nuisance party. There will be no more mandatory court dates.

Mayor Paterson says tickets will be issued, but mandatory court appearances are on hold for now because he says the court system is “quite backed up.”

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“We’re going to be using immediate on-the-spot fines that we’ve used throughout the pandemic, hopefully transitioning back to the court system in the fall,” added Paterson.

The Administrative Monetary Penalties or AMP tickets under the city’s nuisance bylaw can be as high as $10,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for any subsequent offences.

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