FOLLOWUP: Police’s plan for the beach, after Alki shootings

Our photo shows a Seattle Police car we saw at Alki Beach early this evening, as the first night after a shooting that killed one person and put three others in the hospital (WSB coverage here). No new developments in the investigation today, SPD tells us. We asked Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman about the plan for police presence in the days/nights ahead. Here is his reply:

I have requested that the SPD Community Response Group (CRG) increase its presence on Alki on weekday afternoons and evenings, and as we have been doing on the weekends, we will have on-duty officers from the Southwest Precinct assist the Parks Department on the weekdays in encouraging beach fires to be extinguished by 9:30 pm and in closing the beach at 11:30 pm.

We constantly attempt to match resources with predicted needs, which is why we have emphasis patrols on Alki on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This year, an additional challenge is the reduced police staffing citywide — to include the Southwest Precinct — combined with a rise in gun violence across the city. We want to staff events and areas appropriately, which means utilizing the right amount of police resources for potential hotspots while maintaining sufficient staffing to answer 911 calls.

The man killed last night – whose identity we do not yet know – was the fourth homicide victim in Seattle in a week noted on SPD Blotter. As for police staffing, we’ve been reporting on that for months – here’s some local information and discussion from a report back in January. There have been some major shows of force at Alki, though, most notably one month ago, on the night a crowd estimated at thousands thronged the beach for a party organized via social media (WSB coverage here) and the night after.

50 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Police's plan for the beach, after Alki shootings"

  • Rhonda June 29, 2021 (8:41 pm)

    So, the city waited for a 22 year-old father (with another baby on the way) to die and 3 others shot to take these BASIC measures? Another epic failure from our elected officials. There are no excuses.

    • Lyn June 29, 2021 (8:56 pm)

      And what “basic” measures are you referring to? A constant massive police presence on Alki will not stop the gangs and gun nuts regardless of posted closures. 

      • Rhonda June 29, 2021 (10:24 pm)

        Yes, a massive police presence would ABSOLUTEY prevent gangs and “gun nuts” (whatever that is) from the types of hours of lawless behaviors which led up to this latest death/woundings. “What basic measures”? From the article: I have requested that the SPD Community Response Group (CRG) increase its presence on Alki on weekday afternoons and evenings, and as we have been doing on the weekends, we will have on-duty officers from the Southwest Precinct assist the Parks Department on the weekdays in encouraging beach fires to be extinguished by 9:30 pm and in closing the beach at 11:30 pm.

    • Lulu wants to leave Seattle June 29, 2021 (10:29 pm)

      You can thank the ‘City Counsel and the King County Executive’. This is on their heads!

      • Seattlite June 30, 2021 (8:22 am)

        Lulu   —   BINGO!

      • Michael Ostrogorsky June 30, 2021 (12:35 pm)

        First of all, the King County Executive has nothing to do with administration and disposition of the Seattle Police. And how exactly do you expect the City Council to intervene in random fights that happen to break out on Alki Beach or anywhere else in the city? Otherwise, smart comment! 

      • Gable June 30, 2021 (1:51 pm)

        King County is responsible for unincorporated portions of the county, not for incorporated cities like the City of Seattle and its parks; can’t blame Dow for this one.

    • What Do I Know June 29, 2021 (10:39 pm)

      Who brings a gun to the beach? I don’t care how hot it is, a gun isn’t going to cool you off. It just boggles the mind. And, there had to be more than one gun involved because the way the article reads there were four victims. 

    • Peter June 30, 2021 (8:18 am)

      Some people won’t be satisfied until we live in police state. 

  • Angry June 29, 2021 (8:48 pm)

    Everyone reacts after the horse is out of the barn. Amazing ‘leadership’ wouldn’t have foreseen potential issues coming from the busiest beach weekend of the year on the hottest weekend of the year AFTER the beach was closed. “Closed” doesn’t exist without any barriers in place, whether physical or actual enforcement barriers. This solution won’t fix the actual problems that happen after the arbitrary closure time. It would be time for Lisa Herbold, Parks and our friendly Southwest Precinct to figure out a solution for later than 11:30pm. Our neighborhood deserves better than the lack of leadership shown by all involved after the craziness we have seen on the beach and the streets these past 12 months. 

    • Alki Local June 29, 2021 (10:48 pm)

      I say bring in trucks and remove all the sand that was brought in to make the sandy beach. Leave it rocky the was it was originally. That will put a damper on a few things.

      • Alki resident June 30, 2021 (7:19 am)

        So take away the beach from everyone else because of an incident? Genius 

        • Alki Local June 30, 2021 (12:21 pm)

          It’s as good (or absurd) of a solution as everyone else is throwing out,  plus this one might help reduce the trash left behind all summer long that people can’t seem to put in the bins that are there ; )

  • Gable June 29, 2021 (9:11 pm)

    From the Alki Beach shooting four years ago. The comments section is a good read.

    • FireBuff June 29, 2021 (10:15 pm)

      I kept having to remind myself “This was four years ago” as I read through. Humans, every one of them. 

  • Chris K June 29, 2021 (9:28 pm)

    Go away, cops.

    • Rhonda June 30, 2021 (11:44 am)

      I’ll bet the family of the dead 22 year-old father who was killed wishes there was a proper SPD presence at Alki Monday night and less people with your attitude.

    • cpfd June 30, 2021 (3:14 pm)

      Go away, gang bangers.

  • S.A. June 29, 2021 (9:46 pm)

    I always find it so interesting when people decide to live near a public amenity, and then are so angry when 1) lots and lots of people decide to use it, and 2) the kinds of things that happen when lots of people gather, especially at night, actually happen.

    • Alki Local June 30, 2021 (6:43 am)

      Actually, as someone who has lived on Alki for many years, this type of activity doesn’t phase me. I suspect many of the comments are from people who don’t even live in the area, but like to put their two cents in on what is perceived to be a safe, family-friendly area they like to visit. Shootings happen everywhere. There will never be enough police to prevent them. No one seems to expect people to act like adults and be respectful of rules and others around them, and responsible for their own actions. Rather they blame “authorities” when people don’t  know how to act properly when in public. Grow up folks.

    • LY June 30, 2021 (9:38 am)

      To your point (1): The Alki residents are not angry that people decide to use it.  That’s just silly. They are fed up that things get out of hand and the visitors has zero regard for the rules at the beach after dark. Often times you don’t even have to wait until after dark. The beach and neighborhood gets littered, broken glass everywhere, blocked driveways. It’s a nuisance. The residents here aren’t angry that people use it. They are fed up with people treating it like it’s a place they can dump on.

      • Bradley June 30, 2021 (11:18 am)

        This.  👍👍

  • Ugh June 29, 2021 (10:14 pm)

    I’ll take whatever we can get from the men and women in blue. They are stretched pretty thin these days. They know Alki has been a problem. Unfortunately the violent calls are the ones they have to respond to first. Let’s hope things calm down a bit. I feel horrible for the family of the victim who passed last night. Not a call anyone would want to receive. 

  • Guy Olson June 29, 2021 (11:07 pm)

    The night after a murder and there is one police officer, people lighting off fireworks, large bonfire with music blasting, and it’s 11:05 pm. SPD doesn’t care, what a joke for us residents. Parking enforcement was out earlier writing tickets. 

    • Mike June 30, 2021 (6:06 am)

      SPD has lost 1/3 of their police force over the past year and the city council wants more cuts.  SPD isn’t the problem and SPD does care.  SPD was severely understaffed going into 2020, now SPD is critically short staffed.  Some people will not receive response and all calls are prioritized.  Bonfires are not a priority, shots fired are 

      • Guy Olson June 30, 2021 (2:17 pm)

        SPD sure had enough staffing availability for the teenage TikTok party, but none for the hottest weekend on record when the state is about to re-open? It’s so sad that it is almost laughable. I’ve been witness to every shooting on Alki in the last eight years. But please, tell me how it is. 

    • Anne June 30, 2021 (7:04 am)

      What an absurd , ill informed statement. 

  • Jansen June 29, 2021 (11:12 pm)

    Less Police please! We didn’t deal with a summer of George Floyd rebellion just to have more police terrorizing the beach. I see all the dogwhistling in these threads. About the type of “kids” they seem to not want coming up here to the Alki condo renters who think they own the place.

    • Bradley June 30, 2021 (11:21 am)

      I think you will be outvoted on that rebellion.  Even mayor candidates except Gonzalez is backing away.  When there’s a shooting, who are you going to call?

    • Quiz June 30, 2021 (11:47 am)

      Please just give it a rest.

    • anonyme June 30, 2021 (1:12 pm)

      What do people being shot on Alki have to do with George Floyd?  There was no “rebellion” taking place, no protest, and the police didn’t shoot or “terrorize” anyone.  They responded to a murder scene.  What’s your plan, just let the bodies pile up on the beach?

      • DD June 30, 2021 (7:21 pm)

        What does George Floyd have to do with Seattle at all for that matter? Our PD had been reforming under a federal consent decree for nearly a decade already.

  • Not guy June 30, 2021 (2:54 am)

    Hello Guy, maybe it has something to do with the fact that SPD is severely understaffed. I know it’s the cool thing these days to hate on SPD and police everywhere (some of it is deserving, but it’s becoming a little ridiculous). But just perhaps, maybe, it’s not that they don’t care. Also, parking enforcement is a separate wing, although I wouldn’t mind them being defunded as much. Have a good one Guy!

    • Seattlite June 30, 2021 (8:30 am)

      Not Guy…Great comment!   SPD is doing a phenomenal job after hundreds of police officers have left SPD’s law enforcement positions in the past one to two years.  Decreasing law enforcement is not the answer if Seattleites are looking for safe spaces to bring their families. Seattle’s city council and mayor have a lot to answer for in respect to Seattle’s current problems due decreased law enforcement resulting in decreased safety for citizens.

  • anonyme June 30, 2021 (7:16 am)

    Violations require enforcement, not “encouragement”.  If a beach fire is illegal, Parks should put it out and issue fines.  If people are on the beach after closure, the only choice should be to leave or be arrested.  The mollycoddling has created an atmosphere where rules exist only to be broken.  And frankly, much as I support SPD, they have helped create that lawless atmosphere with a chronic lack of enforcement that precedes the defund idiocy by many years.

    • 🤦‍♂️ June 30, 2021 (12:17 pm)

      Totally agree. If parks isn’t available the cop should put the fire out vs observing as a comment above noted.  Agreed this isn’t just a recent problem. I noticed the same before 300 cops quit.

    • Guy Olson June 30, 2021 (2:19 pm)

      Nailed it anonyme! I’m not anti-police, but they need to do the job they are paid to do. 

    • Pessoa June 30, 2021 (4:57 pm)

      Having lived in a few cities, most recently LA,  Seattle Police have to be one of the most passive, least proactive forces in the country.  Hard to take their doomsday defund predictions seriously when service is already so lacking.  I think people have become accustomed to getting so little for their tax dollars that they fell compelled to issue overwrought odes of joy and gratitude when the police simply do their job.  

    • 🤦‍♂️ June 30, 2021 (5:00 pm)

      I also just have to add there’s a lot more illegal things going on besides a fire. (The park was closed around 9 pm and  all fires were illegal during the pandemic). Against my better judgment I did go down before closing and saw fires and the smell of marijuana was quite strong. It’s legal to smoke if you are 21 or older and are not in public. People don’t realize this or don’t care. I think the other comments about a lack of enforcement lead to things like this. People can read comments from last year about Alki fires and how the ambassadors that have no authority were tasked with chasing off scofflaws. Many of whom  just came back 15 minutes later and re lit the fire, etc. People reported seeing SPD in patrol cars within view just observing. They may have had a good reason, probably would have gotten in trouble when someone on the council complained to the Chief and it went down the chain.

  • Duffy June 30, 2021 (7:31 am)

    This is some plan!

  • David Kannas June 30, 2021 (7:32 am)

    Captain Grossman uses words like “requested,” “assist,” and “encouraged” to identify police response to the Alki shooting. That may be an acceptable response to Lisa Herbold and the other council members who view police as expendable, but no to the rest of us, at least most of us. Police presence needs to be unmistacable on Alki during summer months. Fire should not be allowed, period. The beach should be closed at sunset. Once the message is sent that it’s a free for all on Alki, this stuff will happen. Many years ago there was a full on riot on the beach. Officers were over whelmed. From that came the cruising ordinance and constant police presence. That seems to have been forgotten and mushy words put in its place. So, Captain Grossman, take charge and show Alki that it deserves protection from the few bums who want to ruin it for all. 

    • anonyme June 30, 2021 (12:04 pm)

      Exactly.  Those words might be appropriate for beach volunteers, but not police.  There is one word that is consistently ignored, and that is ENFORCEMENT.  That is what police are for, to enforce the law.  Do it.

    • June 30, 2021 (1:37 pm)

      I suspect no one has ever been fined or arrested for a beach fire or being in the park after it has closed and wouldn’t hold your breath for that to change. And, with this year’s directive from the Seattle Office of Inspector General to Chief Diaz for SPD not to enforce low level driving infractions, along with a scarcity of officers, the likihood of much of anything being “enforced” is quite low unless someone’s life is in danger. 

  • Marcus June 30, 2021 (8:22 am)

    I would like to respond to S. A.  and the comment that people who live near a public amenity get angry when lots of people decide to visit and when “things happen at night”.Really, is not this just condoning bad behavior along with criminal and violent activities, and just because someone lives near a beach they should buck up and just get use to it??  That is far less than being civic minded and frankly very disappointing.  Of course people expect lots of people to use a public amenity but to accept a level of law breaking and criminal behavior is plain outrageous.  Do you appreciate crime in your neighborhood?  I think not, at least I hope not.

  • MM June 30, 2021 (8:52 am)

    Don’t blame SPD for this, it’s the fault of the individuals committing the crimes.  They know Law and Order is diminished in Seattle and that they can get away with violent acts. Thanks to the worst City Leadership we’ve ever had, they have led us to this mess.  They are responsible not SPD. City Leadership is not helping SPD do their job. 

  • KT June 30, 2021 (9:00 am)

    I wonder if having SPD Community Response Group on weekday afternoons and evenings is the best use.  And exactly what is an “emphasis patrol”?  When you have nothing else to do drive thru Alki?  Understaffing, though obviously real, has been a SPD explanation for two decades.  

  • Dema Smith June 30, 2021 (9:17 am)

    Alki has become a very very dangerous place. I do not feel safe in that area. 

    • Michael Ostrogorsky June 30, 2021 (12:39 pm)

      What nonsense. I am willing to bet you have never been to Alki Beach. 

    • scubafrog June 30, 2021 (9:27 pm)

      Alki’s extraordinarily safe.  So is Seattle, for a big city.  We have our crime, but it’s nothing, nothing like other big cities.  It’s also fascinating to see how many people want more police, more prisons, more laws, and a bigger police state – these are either the “faux conservatives” who tout small govt, or are the same ‘woke libs’ who were screaming to defund the SPD after George Floyd (the majority wanted it, then).  SAD.  Both sides are schizophrenic in their politics.

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