Here’s how much St. Patrick’s Day gatherings cost police: report

A new report from Waterloo Regional Police is outlining the number of charges and the costs to cover St. Patrick’s Day this year.

The report shows $318,000 was spent by regional police over three days, ranging from March 16 to the 17, and extra staffing on the evening of Friday March 15. The biggest expense came from officer overtime, coming in at $195,000.

In total, 257 charges were laid, with the majority falling under the Highway Traffic Act with 141. The most common charge was Having Liquor In Open Container In Unauthorized Place with 71.

Compared to last year, the number of service calls dropped to 387, with 71 being citizen-generated. Arrests also decreased with 10 this year compared to 18 in 2023.

The unsanctioned street gathering took place on Marshall Street for the third year in a row with 9,500 people in attendance. The city of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University have installed fencing on Ezra Avenue since 2022 to deter street gatherings.

The last major gathering for St. Patrick’s Day was in 2019, which saw over 33,000 people in attendance. Unsanctioned street gatherings did not occur in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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