1:18 PM: Even before last Sunday’s double shooting, Alki Beach residents say the nighttime state of things at the beach has been getting worse – the video above was sent by one reader just hours before the shooting, around midnight Saturday night. Among the problems, illegal beach fires have continued and seem to have grown in number many nights since Parks removed the fire rings (which had been locked anyway) two weeks ago, drawing SFD responses, as we noted last week. Another beach resident sent this photo showing some of the fires on Saturday night:
Fireworks are reported nightly, too.
Alki Beach Park is supposed to be closed at 9:30 pm; residents say a Parks crew makes that announcement but it’s inevitably ignored.
After the shooting last weekend, Southwest Precinct commander Capt.Kevin Grossman explained that SPD no longer has money for the “emphasis patrols” that had been sent to the beach in the past. But today, he announced an update: “The Parks Department has generously agreed to fund a three-officer detail to support Parks staff in closing Alki Beach and the Don Armeni Boat Ramp at night, starting tomorrow (Thursday), August 6th. The officers will work three hours, from 8-11 pm, every Thursday through Sunday night for the remainder of the summer, until Sunday, September 27th. We hope that this partnership between SPD and Parks will address some of the issues neighbors have been experiencing with noise, fires, alcohol use, and other parks violations at Alki and Don Armeni.” However, he added, don’t assume this detail will see everything, so keep calling 911 for emergencies.
On followup, he confirmed to WSB that the three officers will be on overtime (as were past “emphasis” patrols), with Parks footing the bill. We have a question out to Parks regarding how much money it’s providing, and whether that department has any other changes planned for Alki.
ADDED 12:37 PM THURSDAY: Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied, “Parks and Recreation is paying by shift but the amount will not exceed $27,000 for the remainder of the summer, the funds are coming from our Partnerships Division.”