Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wrong Move

The Edmonton Police Service has dumped the cop in charge of community relations, who organized the largely peaceful crowd control situation on Whyte Avenue on Sunday night, in favour of this Orwellian named crew; the public safety unit, also known as the riot squad.

"I, quite unabashedly, state that yes, I was fired from that job," said South Division Insp. Bryan Boulanger, still reeling yesterday over the abrupt sacking. Boulanger said his approach to policing Whyte - "professionalism, discretion and tolerance" - clashed on more than one occasion with that of the commanders of the public safety unit, also known as the riot squad.
"They wanted to put on their hats and bats and go out swinging," he said.

Yep and that would be a PR disaster. All you need to make hooliganism turn into a full scale riot is riot cops.

As I have said here before you need to charge the bars a tax since it is their drunks partying on the streets, plus make sure they are closing early. The other point is that while many revelers are drunk, they are coming from elsewhere, they have not been partying on Whyte all night.

They are encouraged by websites like and
Gee do ya think maybe the City should encourage these web sites to be more socially responsible and say post a message about responsible partying versus hooliganism.

Also when you herd all the revelers into the area of 105 st. around the old post office building, you have no control. Period. The crowd becomes too large. It naturally gets out of control. Spread 'em out don't let people bunch up, keep them moving.

The police line last Sunday was well behaved and friendly, it should have continued down to 109 St. The cop in sharge should not have been fired for what has been mainly a media snow job. The hooliganism occured later in the evening.

And interestingly there were three knifings in Edmonton that night, but NOT on Whyte. This of course was deemed less important to report than the predictable hooliganism on Whyte.
Three stabbings overnight

Inviting the Riot Cops to patrol Whyte is asking for trouble. Since they won't listen to the cop in charge and undermined his authority on Sunday night they are just as responsible for the holliganism. Reinstate Boulanger.

Whyte reports overblown say business owners

Saturday’s hooliganism at the intersection of 105 Street and Whyte Avenue isn’t as bad as the media makes it out to be, say bar owners and shopkeepers in the area.

But they agree it’s time cops start pushing back at the idiot vandals who’ve been ruining everyone else’s fun.

“Everyone in the world is starting to think Whyte Avenue on game day is like a Saturday night in downtown Beirut,” says Blues On Whyte manager Jim Szakszon.

“Outside of that intersection the late night crowd gets very thin. The wisest thing the police can do is start ticketing every jerk that gives bar owners and fans a bad name.”

See Whyte Avenue

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