No major arrests, injuries during Homecoming Weekend
Jennifer K. Baker with reporting by Stephanie Villella, CTV Kitchener
Published Sunday, September 29, 2019 4:12PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 29, 2019 6:51PM EDT
WATERLOO - Homecoming Weekend could be called a success.
While officials numbers haven’t been released, both Waterloo Regional Police and Guelph Police say there were no major incidents or injuries reported.
In Guelph an estimated 7,000 people gathered on Chancellors Way.
Police say the majority of incidents they dealt with were for unruly behavior, intoxication and open liquor.
In the past Guelph Police handed out fines for homecoming-related offences.
This year they decided to give out a summons for court.
Waterloo Regional Police are also celebrating a successful Homecoming Weekend.
Final numbers won’t be released until Tuesday but police say fewer people showed up for the unsanctioned street party on Ezra Avenue.
“We have seen a significant decrease in peak attendance,” said Const. Andre Johnson on Saturday.
Police had planned for an estimated turnout of 14,000.
That’s the number of people who crowded the Waterloo street in 2018.
That party was described as the biggest homecoming event in the city’s history.
On Saturday police confirmed they had charged at least four people in connection to homecoming. Fourteen people sought help for alcohol-related issues and ten were taken to hospital for treatment.
Compare those preliminary numbers to 2018 when officers issued a total of 462 charges for drinking, driving and bylaw offences and arrested 12 people.
Police are crediting their new tactics for keeping the party under control.
Crowd management pods, the fenced-in areas where students could access washrooms and garbage cans, were set up along Ezra Avenue.
Police also stood on scaffolding to get a better view of the street.
“Making it less of a party atmosphere,” said Shayne Turner, the director of municipal enforcement services for the city. “The crowds were there but seemed to be continually moving.”
Wilfried Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, Western University and the University of Guelph also worked together to manage the multiple parties by scheduling homecoming on the same weekend.