London Police launch Project LEARN for another year

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Project LEARN kicks off for another year of education and enforcement.

The London Police Service launched Project LEARN (Liquor Enforcement and Reduction of Noise) on Sept. 5.

The project, which was first launched in 2007, aims to educate students on nuisance parties, open fires, noise, littering, and public urination in the city.

“The London Police Service extends a warm welcome to all students who are settling in for the start of classes. While this is an exciting time for many, we are reminding students to be a good neighbour and to be respectful of all area residents,” said Staff Sergeant Chris Carne in a statement. “Striking a balance between having a good time and following health guidelines laid out by health officials will be the key to a safe and enjoyable school year as we navigate the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, together.”

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

Cst. Scott Mandich said students can expect an increased police presence around Fanshawe College, Western University, and downtown London, as police educate students on noise reduction and best safety practices.

“Officers inform students about laws, and crime prevention tips,” said Mandich.

The initiative, which focuses on a balanced approach of education as well as enforcement, involves heavier police presence in areas primarily dominated by students. The program runs every year around the time the fall semester kicks off.

“We strive to build strong relationships with our community,” said Mandich. “The increased police presence during Project LEARN allows us to build positive relationships with students, helping students know how to have a good time within the confines of public health measures.”

As with the previous year, this school year brings with it many by-laws regarding COVID-19. Mandich said these by-laws will be enforced and Project LEARN auxiliary officers will be taking the time to educate students on them.

“As long as people abide by these measures, then they can have a happy, healthy and safe school year,” said Mandich. “It’s been challenging for everyone and London Police are trying our best to navigate that. We’re just hoping students do their part.”

Under Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, indoor gatherings are permitted for up to 25 people, while outdoor gatherings are permitted for up to 100 people.

Project LEARN has been a consistent initiative by London Police for 14 years, something Mandich said is a testament to the effectiveness of the program.

“It’s been well received by students as well as residents here and I think the fact that it’s been ongoing for the past 14 years is a testament to the success of the program,” he said. “It’s what people choose to make of it. If people are here to have a good time, but are also mindful of restrictions in terms of by-laws and public health measures, then we won’t have any issues.”

The main goal of Project LEARN is education. Along with administrative and student partners at Fanshawe College, students will always have access to information regarding the law.

“Everyone’s health and safety is the most important thing, so as long as everyone is mindful of that, I think we’ll have a really successful year,” said Mandich.

Project LEARN will run until Sept. 25, 2021.