To avoid violating curfew, teens can hang out at 4 Kansas City community centers
5th community center to serve as detention center
Chris Hernandez , Steve Kaut
12:23 PM, Aug 19, 2011
6:39 PM, Aug 19, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The City of Kansas City will keep four community centers open late so teens can have a place to hang out while avoiding any violations of the new curfew.
But the Brush Creek community center will be open as a detention center.
When police catch teens violating the new curfew.. they'll take them there to wait for their parents.
As for centers open for fun, the question is whether teens will actually show up.
Sixteen-year-old Jamell Tunley says he'll check out the community centers that stay open late.
But like most kids, he'd rather hang out where he wants to hang out.
"I don't want to be forced to hang out somewhere. It might not be as cool or fun as where we used to hang out at," said Tunley.
He planned to go to the Plaza Friday night, until his mom told him about the new curfew.
"I was, oh... Where am I going to go now?" said Tunley.
The centers will stay open late for teens on weekends through the end of next month.
It's to give kids something to do now that the city has a tougher new curfew.
"I think our response to this curfew, albeit positive, is just one of many things that should happen in Kansas City," said Mark Bowland, who runs the community centers for the KCMO Parks & Recreation Department.
With football pads at his feet and a Boys and Girls Club backpack--- Jamell seems like a typical teen.
And he was on the Plaza last Saturday. He heard the gunfire and saw people running .
"Why?" he asked. "It's the Plaza, you're supposed to come chill with people and have fun, then this happens. It's just another thing they take away now."
Jamell doesn't want to end up at the Brush Creek center.
When it stays open as a detention center, there will be no activities.
Curfew violators will just sit in a chair in a meeting room until parents show up, and it will stay open until 6 a.m.
Brush Creek Community Center will open at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and stay open until 6 a.m. Kansas City police will take teens who violate the curfew to the center.
The violators will be separated by sex. Aim4Peace, a group dedicated to stopping youth violence, will provide mentors for curfew violators.
Teens who violate the curfew in the Northland will be taken to the department's North Patrol Station, 1001 N.W. Barry Road.
The city also will keep the following community centers open to help kids find a safe place to gather for activities and to avoid violating the curfew:
Hillcrest, 10401 Hillcrest Road Gregg-Klice, 1600 John "Buck" O'Neil Way Tony Aguirre Community Center, 2050 West Pennway :Kansas City North Community Center, 3930 N.E. Antioch Road.
Those teens who go to the community centers will be given a wristband as they leave the centers at 11 p.m. Friday and midnight Saturday that will exempt them from curfew enforcement.
The new curfew is the result of a shooting last weekend on the County Club Plaza.
Mayor Sly James and community leaders went to the popular shopping district to check on the large crowds of teens that have been gathering there during the summer.
The shooting occurred about 50 yards from the mayor as he was outside the Cheesecake Factory restaurant. He was not injured.
The city council passed the new curfew ordinance Thursday.
Unaccompanied teens under 18 years of age will not be allowed in the Westport District, County Club Plaza, Downtown, 18th and Vine and Zona Rosa areas after 9 p.m.