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City says they haven't received any complaints over enhanced Westport security

Posted at 6:15 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 12:44:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the city's most popular entertainment districts added additional security enhancements this summer.

On Wednesday, the city received an update on the success of the measures put in place in Westport.

As of December, Assistant City Manager Rick Usher says there have been no filed complaints filed to the city.

"No complaints, no civil rights complaints were made or filed with his (Human Rights Department) office related to this program," said Usher. 

The city's Human Rights Department trained 17 staffers at the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, conducted two training sessions and one review session with all civil rights monitors prior to going onsite. 

There were 16 weekly observation reports required from Ad Hoc and Westport's security service.

The city says the new measures don't appear to have deterred people from going to Westport.

"These checkpoints were not used to do warrant searches on people. Police weren't summoned to screen someone who may have not wanted to reveal why the metal detector's going off. People were just informed that if a metal detector goes off, you leave or you empty your pocket in order to enter the district," said Usher. 

There were unannounced site visits between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. from Aug. 31st to Oct. 31st. The time period matched up when most of the security measures were in place.

Usher pointed out some critiqued the long wait times and the security team will make some changes in 2019.

"They discovered that most patrons are coming into the district from the west so there will be two screening locations there at Mill and Westport next year," said Usher. 

The enhanced security will return in April 2019.

About a month before then, the city will review the requirements with civil rights monitors to make sure everything is in place.