KITCHENER -- Despite many calls for residents to stay home and keep away from others, some people still aren’t getting the message.

Bylaw officers have been patrolling parks, playgrounds and recreational areas in order to break up any gatherings and enforce physical distancing.

Over the weekend they came across of a group of people playing basketball in McLennan Park in Kitchener.

According to Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, most of the players cooperated with bylaw officers.

However one would not, so officers handed the individual a ticket for $750.

Chris Dorian told CTV News that he was the one who was ticketed at McLennan Park. The 19-year-old insists he and his roommate were the only ones playing on the basketball court.

But he also admits that they knew that it had been closed.

“I’ve been off for so long so I’m trying to have some leisure activities. I get the rules and the park is prohibited and it’s closed and whatnot, but my roommate and I decided to come play some basketball because I figure the two of us, being isolated together already for over two weeks and we haven’t been around any other people.”

This is the first ticket of its kind issued in the Region of Waterloo.

Police hope this incident will get the message across to all residents.

“We are appealing to the community that they use good common sense and encouraging people to just stay home,” says Cst. Ashley Dietrich of Waterloo Regional Police.

Kitchener isn’t the only city that has increased its patrols.

Susanne Hiller, the Director of Communications for Cambridge, says the city is boosting its bylaw team by redeploying its building and fire inspectors to help manage calls from the public.

Both Cambridge and Waterloo are also proactively monitoring parks and other potential gathering areas.

Anyone who needs to report a concern can call:

  • Cambridge – (519) 623-1340, ext. 7907
  • Waterloo Bylaw – (519) 747-8785 (during regular business hours) or (519) 570-9777 (after hours)
  • Kitchener Bylaw – (519) 741-2345