Police to crack down on bad behavior on Woodward

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published June 18, 2019

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ROYAL OAK — The Woodward Dream Cruise is a dream for some, but for others, it’s a nightmare.

The Royal Oak Police Department has pledged to crack down on cruisers and boozers along the famous Woodward Avenue thoroughfare to ensure that neighborhoods have some peace this year.

The city of Royal Oak encompasses nearly 6 miles of Woodward Avenue and, as such, can be described as the epicenter of the Woodward Dream Cruise, which draws classic cars and fans from around the globe.

The Woodward Dream Cruise is officially a single-day affair, culminating on Saturday, Aug. 17, but according to police, bad behavior begins as soon as the weather turns and temperatures cooperate, and it continues for weeks.

“This is an ongoing issue that the Police Department has been trying to deal with,” said Lt. Keith Spencer, of the Royal Oak Police Department. “We’re trying to educate the public about things to do and not to do in the time leading up to the cruise.”

He said police receive complaints of loitering, littering, loud noises and driving offenses, including speeding.

“We’re going to take a zero-tolerance policy, and we’re going to do it as soon as the weather turns warm,” he said. “We’re already starting to see folks out on Woodward in increasingly large numbers starting this spring.”

Along with the more glaring offenses, Royal Oak police are also cautioning motorists that parking on private property, including downtown businesses, without the owner’s permission is illegal.

“We are proud of Woodward’s strong heritage and the role we play in keeping the Dream Cruise a safe event for its fans. But the neighbors and businesses along Woodward have had enough with the summerlong activity,” Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a prepared statement. “For the last few years, we have tried just asking motorists to move along and enforcing the more serious infractions; however, it has become like herding cats and it is pulling a tremendous amount of police resources.”

This year, Spencer said, police will be more inclined to issue citations for first-time offenses.

“There is no question that our residents and business owners would like us to take a more aggressive approach to resolve this issue,” O’Donohue said in the statement.

The Woodward Dream Cruise originally began in 1995 as a fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale; now, it draws 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars from around the world, according to its website.

For more information about the crackdown, contact Lt. Keith Spencer at (248) 246-3456.

For more information about the Woodward Dream Cruise, visit www.woodwarddreamcruise.com.

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