It’s here – and Regional Police say they’re ready for St. Patrick’s Day.
Preparing for the worst, police say they will take a tougher approach this Paddy’s Day than in years past.
Part of that strategy means cracking down on unsanctioned street parties on Ezra Avenue.
WRPS Chief Bryan Larkin says they are hoping to promote a more responsible celebration this year.
“This isn’t about not having a good time, but have a good time at a licensed venue, throw a house party, throw a backyard BBQ if the weather permits, just do business differently – and lets start moving forward.”
Larkin adds those who choose to take the party to the street won’t get away with breaking the law.
“Walking down the middle of Ezra Avenue while flagrantly violating liquor laws will not be tolerated this year. Officers will be taking a firm, more stringent approach.”
Tomorrow is #StPatricksDay We want you to enjoy yourself, but we want you to stay safe while doing so. To ensure your safety, please avoid unlawful street events. Instead, gather in your home or a licensed establishment. Let’s all #BeSmart #StaySafe and #BeRespectful. pic.twitter.com/dPxbBzScmj
— Waterloo Reg. Police (@WRPSToday) March 16, 2018
Larkin says he hopes this year will be the start of long-term change.
“It is also about sending a message that we are changing the narrative. This can’t continue, enough is enough. The economic impact on the police service alone, not to mention all the other stakeholders is significant.”
Last year, 15,000 partygoers crammed the Ezra Avenue neighbourhood for the annual unsanctioned party.
If you have a child in high school, we ask that you read this letter. We are asking parents/caregivers to speak to their children on the importance of NOT attending the unlicensed St. Patrick’s Day gathering in Waterloo on March 17. Read the letter here: https://t.co/ZuOzfzFE7p pic.twitter.com/xEqRrbQxHX
— Waterloo Reg. Police (@WRPSToday) March 8, 2018
Be smart, stay safe and be respectful this St. Patrick’s Day! For everyone’s safety, #Laurier actively discourages large off-campus gatherings. #StayGolden and check out police approach, safety tips and fines at https://t.co/POYP4amVg1 #SPD2018 @WRPSToday @WLUSCS @citywaterloo pic.twitter.com/kZorWK8Eco
— WilfridLaurierUni (@Laurier) March 12, 2018