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Seattle police ramp up patrols for last day of school

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WEST SEATTLE — On Alki Beach students are already celebrating the end of the school year; an annual tradition for teens all over Seattle.

“You want the kids to have fun. You want the kids to celebrate but you don’t want anybody or anything getting out of hand or out of control,” parent Laurie Sarver said.

That’s exactly what police are worried about; things getting out of control.

Celebrating students, weather that’s expected to be picture perfect and the possibility of drinking and driving, could spell all kinds of trouble.

“We want to make sure that it’s a peaceful day on Alki, peaceful day when kids are leaving school and to the greatest degree possible we try to get kids home safe,” SPD Captain Steve Wilske said.

So police are being very proactive and plan to flood the streets with officers.

“Some of our own units, or Anti-Crime Team, Community Police Team, patrol officers, the Gang Unit is going to be out as well. They’re going to be around the schools as well as down at Alki giving us a hand down there as the night progresses,” Captain Wilske said.

Their goal is to prevent what happened on Alki this time two years ago.

A bonfire got out of control, burning a group of graduating seniors from Federal Way.

Five were injured, one of them seriously.

“I think it’s a good idea. Better safe than sorry,” parent Hilda Campbell said.

Parents we spoke with think it’s a great idea.

“Especially on the last day of school and all the kids are out and there’s a lot of kids coming from everywhere especially down to the beach,” parent Tami Lenzie said.

“I mean, everybody goes to Alki. It’s kind of like the end of the year celebration point so it’s probably good that there’s extra police there so there’s no monkey business,” Sarver said.

Police say they don’t have any information that there will be problems; they are just concerned about the potential for problems

They want to be proactive and on their toes so they don’t get caught on their heels.

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