Following what could only be termed as a disastrous “Paint Night 2008,” the Bainbridge Island Police Department will be cracking down in 2009.
That’s the message police lieutenant Sue Shultz delivered to the Bainbridge High School PTSA Tuesday night. “We’re going to put a cease to it,” she told me.
Last year, the perennial paint night — where students usually paint their names and graduation class onto the island’s pastoral streets — took a turn for the worse when two seniors took their paint to police cars. They also defaced signs like this one (pictured) as you head onto the island on Highway 305.
This year, students caught painting on roads and other public sites will have malicious mischief charges waiting for them, she said.
But one such tradition has her particularly worried: the annual painting of the graduating year on the water tower near the high school. She said they’re painting over the “08” and “anyone that tries to paint 09 that gets caught will be arrested.”
Shultz, who said she’s hoping to help the high school establish a more safe tradition, also wants to reassure students that police aren’t doing such a crack down to be mean.
“The police are not out to get you,” she said. “They are here to help you. The last thing I want to do is have to tell your parents you fell from the water tower.”