It’s the silly season, with respect to policing, in Calgary and across Canada, as local governments finalize budgets for the coming year (years in some case) and politicians and policing leaders trot out familiar, hollow arguments to justify increases. In Calgary, the police budget now comprises roughly 10% of annual civic spending* ($354** million in 2015) yet officials warn that they may have to spend much more on policing in coming years in response to the city’s ballooning population. They make this argument in the absence of any science that establishes a link between police strength and crime rates and community safety.
If this video (after the jump) proves genuine and has not been tampered with, it provides shocking evidence about the last few seconds of the lives of a man and woman from Kingston, Ontario, who died during a police chase. The audio heard during the video (which, again must be proved genuine and unaltered) seems to contradict the statement of police that they had “ceased following the vehicle” because of the speed of the pursuit. Listen for yourself, as police involved (seemingly overheard through a scanner that is monitoring police radio transmissions) follow the car right up to the moment that it crashes, leaving a “body laying out right in the middle of the road.”
Whenever there’s a spate of violent crime that captures public attention, or just about every year at budget time, you can expect to hear some politicians and top police brass lamenting the need for more resources. Police leaders say they need more money for more intensive training, better gear, and particularly more cash to hire more cops. Which certainly makes it fair game to question the decisions of departments to continue to pour millions of dollars into low-return, social engineering crackdowns that yield few arrests/charges/tickets.
Progress was made for the second consecutive year in taming boozy street parties around Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, but the school should not restore its fall homecoming, Kingston’s police chief says. “My personal preference is that the homecoming not be restored as yet,” Chief Stephen Tanner said Monday. “I think we still have work to do.” He estimated the tab for a mammoth weekend police operation could hit $375,000, including $75,000 in overtime costs for Kingston officers.
Dozens of drunken revellers were arrested as hundreds of police officers, including riot squads and roughly a dozen police on horseback, sought to contain booze-fuelled street parties in Kingston, Ontario Saturday night. I was on the street, covering the events for The Kingston Whig-Standard, and watched as police struggled to contain a noisy, sometimes belligerent crowd of drunks that swelled to several thousand at its peak sometime around midnight. My full report, published today in the Whig, appears after the jump, along with a replay of my liveblog commentary that appeared on the Whig’s website throughout the event. The Saturday night events are known in Kingston as ‘Fauxcoming,’ a reference to the fact that the parties grew up around Queen’s University’s annual homecoming weekend. The school cancelled the fall event, for at least two years, after an estimated 8,000 people jammed Aberdeen Street in 2008.
I’m liveblogging from Aberdeen Street – or wherever drunken revellers congregate in Kingston tonight – as police try to suppress any attempts by partygoers to spark a boozy street party. The real time blog, where you can feed me comments and questions, should be live on The Kingston Whig-Standard website at 9 p.m. Expect photos and live updates as events unfold.
Kingston Police may be be planning a surprise show of force in a bid to suppress raucous street parties around Queen’s University this weekend. An additional riot squad of police officers from the Durham Regional Police Service is being bused to Kingston today (sat), I discovered Friday, contrary to what Kingston’s police chief had told me just a week earlier.
For the second consecutive year, hundreds of police officers, including riot squads and officers on horses, will flood Kingston, Ontario, in a bid to crush raucous, booze-fuelled street parties that have typically erupted around Queen’s University each fall. The biggest show of force will come Saturday night, as police prepare to block any revellers who try to congregate on Abderdeen Street, a narrow, two-lane residential street in the heart of the university student housing neighbourhood that has been ground zero for the partying for five years running. Last year, police seized the street with riot squads for the first time, and the party was limited to a few thousand souls. Queen’s University also cancelled its annual fall reunion events that were the focal point of the partying. It’s still cancelled this year. In 2008, before police brought in the riot squads and horses, an estimated 8,000 revellers took over the street. In 2005, partyers flipped and burned a car and pelted police with bottles. With the official Queen’s reunion events gone, the party has been dubbed ‘Fauxcoming.’ What will happen this year? No one is sure, but there’s plenty of chatter online, including Twitter (see box at right for a look at what’s being said right now). Police also may have some surprises in store for would-be party starters. That story will be posted here Saturday morning and at the Kingston Whig-Standard.
» How cops prevented a street riot in 2009
Kingston Police believe an 18-year-old first-year engineering student at Queen’s University died Monday, the first day of classes, after accidentally falling from the window of his residence room. “That’s what our investigators believe, it was a fall from a building,” Police Chief Stephen Tanner told me Wednesday. Tanner said police don’t know how Cameron Bruce fell but they are investigating whether alcohol played a role in his death.
Queen’s University issued a statement today confirming that a first-year engineering student found dead on campus Monday is Cameron Lewis Bruce, 18, of Westport, Connecticut. Bruce’s body was found by other students on the grass at the rear of Victoria Hall, a six-level co-ed residence that houses more than 800 students. One news report suggests the death was an accident.