The following is a statement from Principal Woolf regarding community safety and policing.
Since our Homecoming weekends, we have consulted with many stakeholders – including the Kingston Police Force, the Police Services Board, city representatives, students, Queen’s alumni, and community members – to gather feedback about the events and discuss a variety of topics. We have heard from many of our partners that they were happy to see Homecoming return, and that they want to see it return in the future (I hope to be able to announce a decision regarding that in the near future). We have heard that, for the most part, Homecoming events went well and participants were respectful of the Queen’s and Kingston communities. We have heard that Queen’s is a respected and vital part of the Kingston community, and that we should be proud of being part of the community, and of our contributions to it. But we also heard something we already knew: that too many people were gathered in the near-campus neighbourhood on the first Homecoming weekend, demanding considerable resources from our local police force.
As I have been saying for some time, the safety of members of the Queen’s community is of the utmost importance. There are some instances throughout the year – including but not limited to our first Homecoming weekend – where resources that far exceed the norm are required of our local police force to help keep the Queen’s community, and the greater Kingston community, safe. These resources come with a cost.
For those reasons, Queen’s will contribute $100,000 per year for three years, including this year, to the City of Kingston, with the goal of these funds being used to help pay for community policing, including outreach and engagement work, that helps keep Queen’s and all community members safe throughout the year. This is not the first time Queen’s has recognized the unique demands placed on our local police force, and we recognize that it is not a demand that is likely to lessen significantly in a short period of time, which is why this is a multi-year commitment.
I am proud of our students and, like many others, I am proud of the relationship Queen’s has with the Kingston community, and that includes the Kingston Police Force. The KPF works tirelessly to help keep our students, staff, faculty members, and the rest of the community safe.
I would like to thank the Kingston Police once again for everything they do for Queen’s and for Kingston.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor