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Guelph Police will have 60 extra officers working St. Patrick's Day weekend

'We have an extensive ops plan put in place for it' says Guelph Police spokesperson Mike Gatto
St Patrick's Day Beer Pint-1

Guelph Police will have an extra 60 officers on duty over the course of this weekend to make sure St. Patrick's Day celebration's don't get out of hand.

"We have an extensive ops plan put in place for it," said Const. Mike Gatto of Guelph Police.

The City of Guelph will also have extra by-law officers on duty over the weekend.

"Saturday and Sunday we're going to have about 60 officers as extra deployment between the two days" on top of the regular complement, Gatto said.

Those officers will be spread out over Saturday night, plus Sunday throughout the day and Sunday evening.

"Most of that deployment will obviously be downtown and in the south end."

Gatto said that while he expects Saturday night to be busy, Sunday will be the busy day.

"St. Patrick's Day, it doesn't matter if it's a Sunday or a Tuesday or what it is. People are going to have their parties on that day."

Enforcement of the Liquor Licence Act and public urination will be stepped up and noise complaints will all be handled "likely a little more seriously" than usual, Gatto said.

He said the City of Guelph and University of Guelph have been playing an important role in making sure things stay safe and respectful.

"We don't want to have to give tickets and all that stuff. We want people to have fun, but respect their neighbours," Gatto said.

Police are prepared to make sure something like the Homecoming issues on Chancellor's Way don't happen on St. Patrick's Day.

"We're prepared for it," Gatto said, adding that St. Patrick's Day celebrations have grown to the point where it's now close to what the city sees on Homecoming.

St. Patrick's Day is officially on Sunday, but Gatto said he expects the celebrating will include Saturday night to some degree.

"I have numbers (of offences) from years ago and honestly it's so much better than what it used to be," Gatto said, crediting the unified effort of police, the U of G and the city with reducing the amount of tickets handed out.

"Everyone's taken a part in making things better. I think Guelph has come a long way with this stuff," Gatto said.

Late night busses on Saturday evening will be extended to help get peole out of the downtown core and police will be conducting RIDE programs.

City of Guelph by-law manager David Wiedrick said there will be extra officers for Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday.

"As well we have ensured that there are porta potties downtown to help stop any public urination," Wiedrick said.

"Landlords whose tenants have been warned or charged since January have received letters advising that any continuation of a bylaw breach will result in charges and under the nuisance bylaw. Landlords can be held responsible as well."

The weather forecast for Sunday is calling for a high of 1C with no precipitation.