Undercover officers to crack down on unsupervised teens in entertainment districts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police officers are warning parents to be mindful of the city's teen curfew, which begins Friday in five of Kansas City's entertainment districts.
Officers arrested two teenage girls, ages 14 and 15, Saturday night for fighting on the plaza.

This summer, police officers they'll take a harder line if teens are causing trouble.

Last summer, police officers broke up several fights on the Plaza, using pepper spray and handcuffs to detain some teens. The teens were yelling, running down the streets, picking fights and even climbing light poles, according to Sgt. Greg Williams, who is heading up enforcement of the teen curfew in 2014.

While Williams said this won't be a zero-tolerance policy, this year if kids are causing trouble, they'll be punished.

"If you have kids running in the street, yelling and screaming -- something that we probably in the past would talk to them and try to get them to knock it off before we actually would cite them or their parents -- we're going to go ahead and make that initial arrest," Williams said.

Williams added that officers will try to isolate teens before making an arrest so as not to trigger a group panic.

This summer, cameras will be keeping an eye on the streets in the entertainment districts, as undercover officers keep watch.

Williams says parents can significantly help avoid curfew violations.

"I can tell you 98 percent of the time, the parents don't know their kids are down there when we call them. They say their child is supposed to be at their friend's house. Even though you have good kids, when they go to a friend's house you don't know what's going to happen over there," he stressed. "A surprise check on your child never hurts."

Parents often end up receiving the curfew violation citation since their child is a minor.

The teenage curfew begins Friday. Teens under 18 must be out of the Country Club Plaza, Power & Light District, Zona Rosa, Westport and 18th and Vine by 9 p.m.

41 Action News also spotted signs posted in the Legends Shopping District and Ward Parkway Mall over the weekend warning unsupervised teens to vacate the malls by 9 p.m.

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