Here’s how Seattle Police are handling Alki Beach this week

July 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 23 Comments

(Photo by Don Brubeck)
What’s the police plan for Alki this 4th of July? We’ve been talking to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who says that for starters, they’ve had additional patrols daily this week to “set the tone” for the 4th and also to guard against anything stemming from last Wednesday’s fight/stabbing. The precinct commander added that there are regular-duty officers specifically assigned to the beach, especially on third watch (evening and early am), and SPD continues “to use officers to close the beach at (11 pm), as well as requesting the assistance of the traffic unit and the parking enforcement unit when they are available to deal with some of the traffic congestion issues.” On the 4th of July itself, he says, “We will have a significant presence of both bike and foot officers starting about 4:00 pm on Friday. We are not planning to close down streets, particularly Alki, unless we have to for some reason such as clearing a path for the Seattle Fire Department. We will be continuing the emphasis on Saturday the 5th, and have it scheduled for every Friday and Saturday through the summer.”

23 Comments

  1. Totally agree.

    Comment by Out for a walk — 10:38 pm July 1, 2014 #

  2. Any idea why a cop with his all his lights on parked between the walking path and the bike trail in the 2100 block of alki at 9:15 to about 10. A police boat showed up along with the Coast Guard and they looked in the water with flashlights and then left.

    Comment by Kennedy — 10:46 pm July 1, 2014 #

  3. I’m sorry to say but SPD never handles the 4th of July right. We have lived here for over 10 years and it always gets crazy and out of control. There are just too many crazies and not enough police.

    Comment by Alki Girl — 10:46 pm July 1, 2014 #

  4. I hope they are setting up a command post like they normally do at Don Armeni boat ramp. Hopefully that will let the riff-raff know that the police are around. Plus they need to keep that area free of people who use the boat stalls as regular parking.

    Comment by Eric1 — 10:52 pm July 1, 2014 #

  5. @Alki Girl…There are only a certain number of police officers in the city. When you add up the crowds for Gas Works, Capital hill, Downtown, and Alki on the 4th of July the police are spread very very thin (Math). How do you suggest they handle it?

    Comment by XS — 11:26 pm July 1, 2014 #

  6. I note that every 4th of July they have a group of police issuing tickets on the bridge. Early in the day they focus on westbound; after fireworks, on the eastbound. I see them every 4th in the evening as I am heading back to WS – lined up with motorcycles and radar guns. While I am not fond of speeders on the bridge, perhaps for one night they could redeploy those officers to the Alki area.

    Comment by Carole — 11:58 pm July 1, 2014 #

  7. Have to agree with XS. It isn’t that SPD does anything wrong – its that when you have thousands descend on Alki (and other popular locations on the 4th), then the police can’t keep up with the volumes.

    God forbid we raise taxes to pay for more police … that would be socialist claptrap …

    Comment by wscommuter — 11:59 pm July 1, 2014 #

  8. Carole…I’m betting they’re also doing a sobriety check…well needed on days like that.

    Comment by JanS — 2:51 am July 2, 2014 #

  9. They need to park a paddy wagon right in front of the action. Have a big “Welcome” sign on it. They also should have a taser recharge station in clear view of the public. Oh…and police walking around spinning batons. I’m serious.

    Comment by Cowpie — 7:41 am July 2, 2014 #

  10. If they would station either an officer or PEO to override the traffic light @ Harbor/Spokane St. it sure would help facilitate a timelier exit out of the beach area. In my 40+ years on the beach, after the Fourth and New Years Eve, the street becomes a parking lot for hours after the event.

    Comment by K'lo — 8:15 am July 2, 2014 #

  11. Being present on the beach at closing time is important, but the police need to return at 2am when the bars close. I cannot tell you how many nights I’ve been woken at 3 & 4 in the morning with folks on the beach, fire pits restarted. Whenever I called 911, I’m told the police cannot respond because it’s shift change.

    Comment by BearsChick — 8:59 am July 2, 2014 #

  12. Police are just doing what their told and allowed to do. Not much you could do at Alki or places like Golden Gardens on big events like the 4th as you have so many people gathering in such limited space. More police presents would be good but our city seems to spend it’s money on other things. There is no reason we should have to raise taxes for more police along with transportion and education needs. This city and state just needs to spend money it collects more wisely. The last 5 yrs. we have set a record pace for cost overruns or waste and were just getting started on a few of the big ones tunnel , waterfront rebuild, 520, how about those water reservoirs or that little mistake on the new ferries, how about our patch work 2yr old road in/out of W/S, just to name a few, it’s crazy. To bad our government can’t prioritize things in ways that help all people in their daily lives along with being held accountable when they screw up, instead they just keep raising our taxes to cover their bad management.

    Comment by wetone — 9:24 am July 2, 2014 #

  13. Last sentence of Alki Girl’s comment clearly indicates she understands the “math” issue of the equation.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 9:26 am July 2, 2014 #

  14. I see no mention of SPD getting away from patrolling Alki and Harbor Avenues. Why is that? Once the show is over the residential streets are overflowing with drinkers ditching their bottles, drunks urinating on lawns, slobs dumping their garbage, drivers revving their engines and blaring loud music.

    And, as BearsChick says, we also get the bars letting loose another round of rowdy drunks at closing time. There was a time when Alki had only two bars. Now, every restaurant seems to turn into a bar at 10 PM.

    The message from SPD also doesn’t say anything about their plans for Alki during the day when residential streets become clogged with drivers looking to park their cars.

    Too bad METRO can’t run special buses to Alki like they do for football and baseball games. I suppose we simply don’t rate such thoughtful planning.

    Officer presence is welcome on Alki Avenue where they can enjoy the girls but let’s get a few of the bicycle cops to spend All Day in the neighborhood rather than on the beach. There they will be able to discourage property damage, break up fights, catch people driving their cars on the sidewalks, ticket speeders, ticket people parking/blocking fire hydrants, and so forth.

    Comment by Been Here 25 Years — 9:34 am July 2, 2014 #

  15. I’m reading this post and comments while escaping from Alki to Whistler. We’re fortunate to be able to avoid the nightmare of Alki on the Fourth.

    Comment by mrsB — 9:41 am July 2, 2014 #

  16. I’m ‘all for’ more police presents!

    Comment by Oliver Little — 5:25 pm July 2, 2014 #

  17. The fire department has been out after dark all week telling people to put out their campfires (those outside of the standard pits). They just tell them via the loudspeaker on the truck that if they have to come down and put it out, they will be charged $1,000. That ends things pretty quickly.

    We’ve noticed an excess amount of trash on the beach and trail in the morning. We’ve also noticed a number of neighbors and runners picking it up as they go by – thanks, folks!

    Comment by fering — 6:06 pm July 2, 2014 #

  18. Set up mandatory sobriety check stations at every entrance to alki. Check ID and insurance of all drivers, make them blow a breathalyzer coming and leaving, search every car and all passengers at the smell of weed. There won’t be enough people to make it to the beach to cause trouble. There’s your math, police apologists.

    Comment by Ham — 7:32 pm July 2, 2014 #

  19. Good point, Wetone. Let’s look at the bigger picture here…I highly doubt that the individual officers are picking and choosing where to show up and when. It’s not there fault. Who answers the phone when you call 911 (non medical), who dispatches the police, who “triages” these calls? That is what I would be looking at. It’s a tough world and anyone can sue anyone…. what is going to happen when the citizen’s wake up and get to the bottom of this problem? Bad things happen.. who will be held responsible? It’s similar to health care in that… when something goes wrong do you immediately jump on the nurse or do you (and your attorney) consider other factors like who directed him/ her? who placed him/her in a no win situation? Lets get real and think smart.

    Comment by K — 9:09 pm July 2, 2014 #

  20. I would gladly form a Alki community meeting or neighborhood coalition. Or we can just complain on here using fake names and not do anything productive. Glocson@gmail.com if you’re interested.

    Comment by Guy Olson — 10:32 pm July 2, 2014 #

  21. Where is Wyatt Earp?

    Comment by phil dirt — 9:55 am July 3, 2014 #

  22. There is a monthly west Seattle crime meeting (some months are skipped) at SPD precinct and a reminder noted by WSB. I have been to several and so few people show it’s sad. You have the direct ear of those that can help. I think we have a great community but from the large number of comments vs. the few showing up at such helpful community meetings makes us a bit armchair quarterbacking. Show in numbers speaks volumes and can possibly help get more police officers assigned to West Seattle. IMHO…

    Comment by Moose — 5:55 pm July 3, 2014 #

  23. A bit of a side inquiry: Has anyone been disturbed between 2:30am and 4:30am this week by cars drag racing up Harbor Ave (by the water taxi) towards Alki?

    This has been reaccuring for 4 nights in a row now… The cars are unmistakable, high pitched whine, like motorcycles. They are new to our area, as we’ve never had true racing several nights in a row… First night out they blew a motor or something and had to push one car to the shoulder.

    I’m rummy from lack of sleep – living on Harbor, we’re used to “city sounds”, like the garbage trucks at 5:00am. This tops any sound I’ve ever encountered on a sleep distrubance level. It seems as though they circle the point several times 2 maybe 3 cars…

    Anybody else having an issue?

    Comment by sleepless...4thnight — 9:06 am July 4, 2014 #

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