While it’s all hands on deck for the Kelowna RCMP detachment during the Centre of Gravity festivities this weekend, police are not expecting any serious trouble.
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Nick Romanchuk said police will maintain a high profile presence in the downtown core and around the city this weekend.
“Last year was my first one,” Romanchuk said referring to dealing with the Centre of Gravity crowds. “We saw a significant drop in police service calls last year from the previous year—about 300 to 500 less.”
He attributed that to the city forcing the festival organizers to move the event at City Park to the weekend before the August long weekend.
“I think that made an impact last year because the city is already jammed full with tourists on the August long weekend anyway, so having this event then just added to that.”
Romanchuk said the police work closely with COG security within the festival grounds.
As to whether or not local residents should be discouraged from venturing downtown during the Centre of Gravity, Romanchuk downplayed such concerns.
“I would encourage people to come downtown and enjoy the atmosphere,” he said.
“We had a pretty good system in place last year and before that, so we will just carry on with that, and we should be good.”
Police offered the following tips to those attending the outdoor festival at City Park: Hydrate, seek shade, drink responsibly and follow the Plus One rule—bring a friend and look out for one another.