Attendees thankful for police presence at pre-prom event in Sagi - WNEM TV 5

Attendees thankful for police presence at pre-prom event in Saginaw

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It is prom season in Mid-Michigan and with the partying sometimes comes the need for extra measures to keep teenagers safe.

The students of Saginaw High School enjoyed their prom Thursday night.

The festivities started with a pre-prom at Ojibway Island in Saginaw.

"It gets us hype. We get to listen to music, see how everyone looks, see who came out and spending time with each other without any harm or violence," said Marcus Perry, senior.

For the seniors, the night is celebrating the end of their high school career and saying goodbye to friends.

As the pictures were snapped and the grand entrances were made, a shadow hung over the night - evident by the heavy police presence surrounding the island.

Four years ago 17-year-old Tonquinisha McKinley was shot to death at a pre-prom party in the city. Now the parties are heavily policed and organized.

"The tragedy that happened a couple years ago, you know, so it's good the police are coming together to help us have a safe environment to have fun," said Joe Hopkins, senior.

He said the police presence doesn't stop the fun. His uncle was glad to know his nephew was in a safe, positive environment.

"It's promoting positive image because we need Saginaw to shine and there's a lot of negative stereotypes and things like that about the city of Saginaw. But this right here shows the city can come together and have an event that's safe for all," said Mark Bryant, Hopkins' uncle.

Officers from the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department, Saginaw City Police Department, Michigan State Police and Midland City Police Department patrol the event.

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