Police to increase presence at Kennedy High football game

Four WCCUSD football teams qualify for NCS playoffs

The Richmond Police Department will increase its presence at tonight’s football game at Kennedy High after an off-campus shooting two weeks ago forced an early end to the team’s season opener.

Two patrol officers and a sergeant will be added to boost security at Kennedy’s home game against Sir Francis Drake High (San Anselmo), which kicks off at 7 p.m., said police Lt. Andre Hill. That more than doubles the typical police security presence at games.

The added security is “just a precaution” and RPD has yet to decide whether to continue the enhanced presence in subsequent home games, Hill said.

Also undecided is whether games should start earlier than 7 p.m. as a safety precaution, which police have discussed with the school district.

The school district’s position is it doesn’t want to let the off-campus incident dictate the football schedule, Hill said.

“The players deserve to play under the lights,” Hill said, adding that the later game time allows more fans and parents to attend.

Kennedy High’s home opener against Lincoln High (San Francisco) on Aug. 28 was cut short with four minutes remaining in the game after a shooting occurred in the 700 block of South 41st Street, near the southern end zone. Three juveniles, none of whom are Kennedy students, suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Lincoln was up 39-26 at the time of the game cancellation and was thus declared the winner. The shooting occurred near to the Monterey Pines Apartments, which has seen increased gang violence in recent months.

Kennedy High bounced back last week with a 28-26 victory in an away game at Galt.