FOLLOWUP: First night for extra police at Alki Beach closing time. Update – was it the last?

10:55 PM: We went to Alki to check on the extra police announced for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, starting tonight. They had a quiet, chilly night for their first run backing up Parks crews at the 9:30 pm closing time. We got there around 9:10, when the officers and Parks crews made a sweep to warn the few beachgoers on hand that closing time was approaching.

Though illegal beach fires have been a huge problem for weeks, none were in evidence when we got there. When 9:30 closing time arrived, the two vehicles headed eastbound:

We also checked Don Armeni around 9:45, and officers were there too, with a congregation of cars that looked to be gearing up to leave. The extra officers are only slated to be on duty until 11; we’ll be listening to see what happens after that.

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman says they’ve run into complications – interagency funding transfers apparently require City Council approval – and will “pause” the new patrol until that’s worked out. We’re following up on this with both council and Parks to see what’s being done about this and how soon.

11:38 AM: Councilmember Herbold’s office tells WSB they’re “looking into it.”

58 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: First night for extra police at Alki Beach closing time. Update - was it the last?"

  • bolo August 6, 2020 (11:03 pm)

    Off to a good start. Let’s hope it stays safe.

  • Rich August 6, 2020 (11:25 pm)

    Let’s hope they show up when the weather is hot again and the crowds have amassed. Not as vital having them there on a cool night vs. how things have been over the last couple of weeks on Alki.

  • alki_2008 August 6, 2020 (11:28 pm)

    Nice to see them clearing the area, but the damp and chilly weather was the main deterrent today. Tomorrow will be a much better test of their effectiveness.

  • Jus4fun August 7, 2020 (12:20 am)

    I’d just like to say that if I get to chill and ride the beach in a Police Polaris or whatever ORV was in above pictures, I’d darn near volunteer my time to police the beach!

    • Lagartija Nick August 7, 2020 (11:00 am)

      That vehicle is a perfect example of the waste that should be cut from the SPD budget. 

      • ltfd August 7, 2020 (12:33 pm)

        That vehicle is the perfect example of the right type of vehicle for patrolling long  beachfront parks and trail areas – like Discovery, Seward, Golden Gardens, and Alki.

      • John August 7, 2020 (1:04 pm)

        That vehicle belongs to the parks department, sooo…..

  • AlkiBooms August 7, 2020 (1:18 am)

    I, for one, am REALLY looking forward to the potential of a weekend without fireworks… after 7 weeks of it. 

  • Rob August 7, 2020 (6:34 am)

    I hope everyone votes and makes their voices heard about how insane it is to cut the police budget. If not, reap. 

    • BK August 7, 2020 (11:32 am)

      local West Seattle resident here… all in for at least 50% defunding of the SPD.

      • WS Resident for Social Justice August 7, 2020 (5:47 pm)

        … and what would you defund?  Sex crimes?   homicide?  patrol? 

        • OrdinaryGeek August 7, 2020 (7:45 pm)

          Strawman arguments would be top of the list to get cut

    • Arthurstone August 7, 2020 (7:40 pm)

      Start with the Swat Team.

  • Eric on Alki August 7, 2020 (6:37 am)

    Thanks to Parks and SPD for doing what you did last night, the method was effective, please keep it up through September.

  • Runner August 7, 2020 (7:13 am)

    Maybe this will help reduce the speeding and vehicles with illegal loud exhausts on Alki ave as well? Doubtful, just hoping.

  • Shilei August 7, 2020 (7:55 am)

    Thankful to have these guys here 

  • Tom August 7, 2020 (8:07 am)

    Why can’t they just Lock The Gate at the park and open it in the morning. A simple note would let boaters know the gate will be locked from 11pm to 5am…

    • Jimboo August 7, 2020 (3:23 pm)

      What 🔒 would they even lock at Alki? Last time I looked there is no gates to lock, due to no parking lot at Alki. Just parking in front of beach area.Both Golden Gardens and Lincoln Park has a parking lot and metal arms that can be locked night.

  • Dunno August 7, 2020 (8:45 am)

    Taking 100 officers out of our police force is a very bad idea.  Others things within the department can be cut  Horse’s, individual cars, amount of time worked at outside agencies should be limited, over $200,000 a year need’s to be examined.  Nothing against officers making as much as possible, but we also don’t want burned out police people that make bad decision’s.  I’m all for good working and high tech equipment.  We need to do more with a little less.   Glad to see Alki getting some relief!

    • Rob August 7, 2020 (12:22 pm)

      The police are the Mayor’s responsibility.  This budget crises is a means the city council is using to do a end run around the Mayor.   They are instead causing the opposite effect.  The city council is making a joke out of the very valid BLM movement.  Everybody, every rational person regardless of sex, creed, religion, or race, wants a safe and fair place to live.   That is our shared  goal!  Defunding the police department will backfire when in fact we should be entirely restructuring the department from the ground up including retraining and making them reapply for their jobs under new hiring criteria.   Then we can only hope people still want to serve in the police.

      • WTF August 8, 2020 (8:56 am)

        Bravo! Finally someone with common sense logic. Thank you, bro!

  • Sarah August 7, 2020 (8:55 am)

    Looks like the patrols have been ‘paused’ due to problems with transfer of funds requiring council approval.  Kevin GrossmanUnfortunately, we ran into a roadblock that may ultimately prevent us from continuing the SPD/Parks combined Alki emphasis: I learned yesterday that any movement of funds from one city agency (e.g., Parks) to another (e.g., SPD) requires city council approval. So until that issue is resolved, the dedicated Alki emphasis patrols will be paused. This is a disappointing development–both for my officers and for the neighborhood. In the meantime, I have directed that our available on-duty resources conduct patrols on Alki when not otherwise committed to 911 calls or the demonstrations downtown/on Capitol Hill.

    • WSB August 7, 2020 (10:11 am)

      Yes, we have that too and I am following up with the city.

    • Frog August 7, 2020 (11:58 am)

      It did seem odd that on the same day the City Council was debating defunding the police, the Parks Dept. announced a scheme to pay them overtime.   If the Council reviews the scheme, Herbold will have no choice but to go on the record about it.  Pop some popcorn; this should be good.

  • Sweetiebee August 7, 2020 (9:13 am)

    Wow! sleeping through the night without fireworks in over a month👀

  • Caring WS Citizen August 7, 2020 (9:43 am)

    Thank you  once again, WSB, for your excellent coverage as we navigate these treacherous times!

    • Rob August 7, 2020 (12:24 pm)

      This is the best news blog in the city.  They should be proud!

  • LaShawn August 7, 2020 (9:58 am)

    Absolute ! 

  • Rockatansky August 7, 2020 (10:22 am)

      Defund the city council, “refund” the police – Thank you SPD! 

    • D August 7, 2020 (11:31 am)

      or… defund the police and let people get on with their lives, free of harassment

  • WS Resident August 7, 2020 (10:36 am)

    Can we start a GoFundMe page to pay the overtime? As I have contacted Lisa Herbold numerous times with no response, waiting for the city council to do anything might take a while.

    • WSB August 7, 2020 (10:42 am)

      Contact the Seattle Police Foundation – if you are serious, it would probably have to go through a known entity like that (they saved the now-on-the-chopping-block-again Mounted Patrol, for example, when SPD was going to cut it years ago).

  • D August 7, 2020 (11:30 am)

    What purpose does it serve to harass a few residents who are hanging out later than the authorities “approve” ?People all falling over one another in these comments to praise these sweeps, but could anyone explain why you care?

    • wscommuter August 7, 2020 (12:09 pm)

      Sure … because Alki has gotten dangerous and trashed by the crowds staying into the evening.  See the video posted here yesterday of the moron doing multiple cookies on Beach Dr. in front of cheering onlookers as one example of stupidity.   I ride my bike through there every morning and the level of filth from the garbage left not just piled around the trash cans but out on the beach on a daily basis is appalling and I’ve never seen that in past years except around the 4th of July crowd … but right now, it’s daily.  I’ve seen and heard the crowds this summer once the weather got good – it is appreciably different than most summers.  The noise and the fights (yes there are many) and now shootings make it an unacceptable situation for folks who live here.  That’s why we’re complaining.  If it were just people “hanging out” who were peaceful and not trashing the beach, I could care less.  But that’s not what’s happening.  

      • Xana La Fuente August 7, 2020 (5:32 pm)

        No one believes me so I guess I’ll take video of it- the crows and the seagulls literally take all the trash out of the cans and even the dumpsters and spread it all over. I live on Alki- seen it a bunch of times….

        • Caw caw caw August 7, 2020 (9:07 pm)

          Crow here. You’re hilarious.  Humans are responsible for garbage, not crows, nor seagulls.

          And humans are also largely responsible for bird garbage scavenging behavior, since you destroy so much of our natural resources, and create so much garbage.

    • Rob August 7, 2020 (12:13 pm)

      Have you been down here?  It is very unsafe.  The smoke fills our homes.  There are shootings and violence. The noise is worse than a construction site.   Maybe you can live next to it  or maybe you just don’t care about other people whose entire lives are tied to in this neighborhood.  Not just a fun night of music, fireworks, and hotrods doing donuts.   Miserable night after night of it!

      • Jimmy August 7, 2020 (3:27 pm)

        Smoke fills my home every day and I have to close the windows and I don’t live by Alki, it’s due to the fad of people having outdoor fires 🔥 like they are camping in their backyard.Be happy you live in such of a prestigious neighborhood as Alki.

    • MrsB August 7, 2020 (4:22 pm)

      You’re joking, aren’t you?  

  • Rob August 7, 2020 (12:05 pm)

    How do you recall council members?  Just approve the transfer.  We need and deserve police to maintain a safe neighborhood because we are open and vulnerable to Alki Public Beach.   Furthermore,  why can’t the police stagger shifts better?  No reason for overtime, simply give the police shifts like other jobs and services do.   Besides, do most crimes really occur in the daytime?  Probably not.    This paralysis is all made up.  To all elected officials and their appointees:  Take care of Seattle as you were elected  and appointed to do.

  • Alex S. August 7, 2020 (12:41 pm)

    Another excellent argument for eliminating hundreds of police officers, and shutting down the precinct.   Kiddos should have the right to fight, shoot, stab, burn, tag, vandalize, steal, spread COVID and turn the neighborhood into a drag racing strip  without police interference! The adults’ job is to pick up the pieces, pay higher insurance premiums, medical costs and taxes. 

  • Dusty Bottoms August 7, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    Lots of police and crime experts up in here. Amazing how the cops have never even considered all of these easy and obvious solutions.

  • WSWhaaaat August 7, 2020 (2:32 pm)

    WSB I feel you need to republish this update as a new article – this is an awful turn of events that I think most people missed.  If the council members do not approve this, I will actively start working on recalling them.  Nobody should be on this beach after sunset in times of pandemic.  They will have blood on their hands due to political posturing.7 weeks of fireworks. 7 weeks of windows closed due to beach fires. 7 weeks of covid spread. 7 weeks of flaunting the lockdown rules that the rest of us are so diligently following.  All while people’s livelihoods hang in the balance during this lockdown. Each week getting worse, ending with a drive by shooting.  With the additional police I was hoping that was the crescendo.  Unfortunately this weekend will be like the other ones.  The next step is loss of human life in another shooting or pedestrian accident.  

    • WSB August 7, 2020 (2:47 pm)

      I am going to publish a separate update when I get more info. So far CM Herbold’s office, as noted above, says they’re looking into it. BTW if t’s any consolation we are in for a few more chilly nights so maybe that’ll help…

  • Xana La Fuente August 7, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    Thats because there was nothing bad happening. Not in comparison to the rest of Seattle. Instead of punishing people who pay to live in WS and on Alki, why not put cops at Harbor Ave say by 711 and check for DUIs speeders and ask people to show their license and ask ” do you live here ” ? Take a photo of their plates so if any more shootings occur they have a place to start looking. Same thing at other end of Beach Drive by Lincoln Park. 

    • Brian August 7, 2020 (7:15 pm)

      I’m just a regular idiot posting on the internet with the rest of you, but I gotta say that suggesting a “papers, please” type regiment for Alki is a pretty bad look. Maybe re-think that one.

    • ruckus August 7, 2020 (8:50 pm)

      Great idea! 

  • WS Resident for Social Justice August 7, 2020 (5:49 pm)

     … interagency funding transfers apparently require City Council approval …. Councilmember Herbold’s office tells WSB they’re “looking into it.”

  • DRW August 7, 2020 (9:50 pm)

    Maybe Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday nights for patrols.

  • Rob August 8, 2020 (12:10 am)

    After midnight and 6 fires out there now.   It’s of course intentional.  Everytime they are told to put the fires out, they just relight them.   I don’t think the parks dept employees or the police take it seriously.

    • WSB August 8, 2020 (12:21 am)

      Thanks for the update. Rain must have stopped…,

  • Beth August 8, 2020 (9:04 am)

    Perhaps when push comes to shove the city employs tactics done in other countries. You line-up spotlights along the beach then flip the switch.

  • Junction gal August 8, 2020 (9:50 am)

    What about a show of force by the citizens of west Seattle?junction gal

  • Mj August 8, 2020 (1:47 pm)

    Sitting around a fire goes waaaaay back to our caveman ancestors.  Why the focus on this issue?  If you buy or rent near a popular beach and then complain about basic activity associated with a beach, I’m not talking about blaring radios, speeding and the like, is simply not appropriate.  

  • Lou August 8, 2020 (9:08 pm)

    Saturday, August 8th. 9:05 pm. Eight illegal fires. Group of at least 15 dancing under a tent. No masks. No cops that I can see. 

    • WSB August 8, 2020 (10:21 pm)

      We drove through both ways at 9:30. Saw four fires, three police cars headed west (on our flipflop one was parked at 60th/Alki).

  • DEFUND SPD August 12, 2020 (7:36 pm)

    Wow y’all, we do NOT need cops on Alki at all times.I was there around 4-5pm today (Weds) and the beach was eerily dead… except for cops everywhere. Between the Beach Drive “Stay Healthy Street” and the walking trail, I spotted 4 cop cars/SUVs, a mobile safety unit, AND a go-cart type vehicle. This would have been excessive in any case, but the beach was quiet…. so completely unnecessary and a total waste of our community’s tax dollars!  If anything, Parks should use their staff and resources to maintain the area. NOT the cops. Cops  community safety. 

    • WSB August 12, 2020 (8:53 pm)

      That’s unusual. We go through Alki 5 pm-ish almost every day – could not today – and police are not usually in sight. Tweets by Beat shows a 911 response right around that time so that’s probably why (ultimately classified “suspicious person” but that can cover many things). The “go-kart type vehicle” was probably Parking Enforcement.

Sorry, comment time is over.