Ottawa police to review force's Panda Game response

·1 min read
Partygoers flipped a car on Russell Avenue after the Panda Game on Oct. 2. (Radio-Canada - image credit)
Partygoers flipped a car on Russell Avenue after the Panda Game on Oct. 2. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Ottawa police are reviewing how the force handled its response to Panda Game revellers, who, by night's end, caused mayhem on Sandy Hill streets and surprised police who had called off their officers.

Chief Peter Sloly told reporters in advance of Monday's police board meeting that the force is conducting an "operational review" of its response to Panda Game partiers.

Chaos ensued on Oct. 2 when thousands of partiers descended on Sandy Hill in the evening hours after the annual football game between the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens. At one point, they flipped a car on Russell Avenue.

"Clearly, there were things that went wrong," Sloly said.

The chief said future planning would begin a week out from the festivities, with police knowing clearly what behaviours they would allow and what would prompt a law enforcement response.

Police would also visit problem addresses in advance of the game and figure out what the plans are.

This year's game saw what Sloly called a "double cohort" of students — some who attended the official events, others who planned their own because of pandemic restrictions.

"That's an explanation. That's not an excuse at the end of the day," Sloly said. "We needed to do better in the future. We will do better."

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