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City says it hasn't delayed implementation of Westport security measures

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 19:27:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City Hall and Westport leaders say a case of incomplete paperwork is holding up new security measures in the entertainment district.

According to the Westport Regional Business League, all but two of the 22 businesses have signed off on the plan to privatize certain sidewalks on weekend nights. Those two business owners are reportedly out of the country and unable to sign.

A spokeswoman for the league said they expected to start the process in January but didn't receive the paperwork until April, when the measures were supposed to go into effect.

The city, however, cited a different snag.

"Our understanding is this is actually the second time they have gone through this process because some of the documents were incorrect the first time. That's understandable because this is a complicated process," KCMO Communications Director Chris Hernandez said.

Westport Regional Business League Executive Director Kim Kimbrough did not have time for an interview with 41 Action News on Monday, but some of our questions were answered by a spokesperson via email. We asked whether the weapons screening equipment had been purchased. 

"Everything needed for implementation of the enhanced security screening will be in place when all of the requirements are met--whether that is next week or next month," Stacey McBride, Marketing & PR Director for O'Neil Events & Marketing, wrote.

A similar security plan was recently implemented on Beale Street in Memphis to address crime. Hernandez emphasized the road has been more difficult in Kansas City because of Missouri's less restrictive gun laws. 

"Part of this conversation really needs to be about getting the state of Missouri to pass more responsible gun laws that will protect people so we don't have to worry about seeking these local and innovative solutions just so people can feel safe when they go out for a night on the town," he said.