Resources at issue in summer teen curfew talks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The City Council in Kansas City on Wednesday discussed transitioning the summer-time curfew for teenagers at the city's entertainment districts into a year-long curfew.

The summer curfew was implemented in 2011 after many problems with large groups of teenagers, one which even included a shooting, on the Country Club Plaza.

A new proposal, brought forth by Councilwoman Jan Marcason, would extend the 9 p.m. curfew at the Plaza, downtown, the Power & Light District, Zona Rosa and 18th and Vine to year-round instead of only in the summer.

"I know that we spend a lot of police resources when we have to respond to these incidents. If resources is an issue it may be less expensive to enforce the current curfew rather than send a lot of squad cars to enforce these problems."

But officials that spoke with 41 Action News wonder if police resources could be used elsewhere.

"I think there is some concern to what that would do as far as a drain on police resources," Councilman John Sharp said Tuesday. "You've got proms in April and May. Are we saying prom kids couldn't be on the plaza after 9? I think there are some things we need to look at."

Police Chief James Forte agrees.

"You can have a curfew and if people don't adhere to the curfew, it doesn't mean anything," Forte said. "If you take additional resources from the police department to detain children or young adults, I don't want to say it will cause a problem, but it will be a drain on some parts of our resources."

The questions about the curfew resurfaced recently when several teens were arrested earlier this month on the Plaza.

Sharp calls that an "isolated incident."

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