KCMO Parks & Recreation Department ordered to create safety plan for trails and parks

Posted at 6:18 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 10:11:40-04

On the same day someone killed popular bar owner Mike Darby on the Indian Creek Trail, two council members ordered the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department to come up with a plan to keep trail users safe. 

“This trail was put here for entertainment and exercise, not for us to not to be able to enjoy it for all that’s happening,” a trail user who didn’t want to be identified said Monday. 

With another murder on the trail, some users are afraid they’ll be the next victims of violent crime.

The City Council is asking the parks and recreation department to come up with a safety plan for all of its trails and parks.

Starting with:

“Crime prevention through environmental design, so are the trees trimmed? Is the lighting appropriate? Do we need security cameras or do we want security cameras?” said Terry Rynard, deputy director of KCMO Parks and Recreation Department.

They plan to work with the city manager, the mayor’s office and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. 

“Sometimes making sure that all agencies are aware of what those policies and procedures are and working together. Perhaps there is something we haven’t thought of that the police department can think of,” Rynard said.

RELATED | KCPD aware of similarities in homicides on trail

KCMO Parks and Recreation has six months to come up with a comprehensive plan. 

In the meantime, people in the community are planning to take matters into their own hands. 

“I don’t hold out a lot of hope that the police are going to do anything, and so those of us who care about the trail are going to take it back ourselves. If it means walking in groups of five or 10, walking with a buddy, we’re not going to let this stop us,” the trail user said.  

The neighborhoods and public safety committee will take up this issue at their meeting on Wednesday at 10 a.m.