Police chief on Panda game response: ‘We need to do better’
OTTAWA -- Ottawa’s police chief is admitting his force dropped the ball in its handling of a giant street party near the University of Ottawa earlier this month.
“We need to do better, and we are going to do better,” Chief Peter Sloly told CTV Morning Live on Monday. “There will be a very different plan in place for next year.”
Sloly’s remarks on Monday were his first public comments about the Oct. 2 party, which happened after the annual Panda football game between uOttawa and Carleton.
About 2,000 partygoers took over a residential street in Sandy Hill, flipping a car and leaving a trail of garbage and debris. Seven people were injured. Police have charged eight people with mischief and two with taking part in a riot.
“We simply didn’t anticipate the types of challenges we were going to see, and we didn’t have enough resources in place for when the real challenges happened,” Sloly said. “That’s on me, that’s on us, and we’re going to do better.”
Sloly ordered an operational review of the entire incident, and he shared some of the early findings on Monday.
He said next year, police will start operations a week in advance of the Panda game. Officers will be deployed to the area over a 36-hour period, instead of this year’s 18-hour time frame, he said.
“We’ll be looking at doing inspections and interdictions in houses around that area that are problematic addresses before, during and after the Panda game,” he said, adding that will allow police to take “more immediate and sustained action” in response to criminal acts and breaches of municipal or provincial codes.
Sloly says the results of the operational review “should be made public.”
Police said last week their investigation into the party is finished and no more charges will be laid.