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Security enhanced in Westport on Friday, Saturday nights

Posted at 1:54 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 18:54:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Starting Friday, the pedestrian boundary in Westport’s entertainment district will increase security from 11 p.m. to - 3 a.m.

Anyone entering the zone must pass through one of four check points at Westport and Mill, Westport and Broadway, Pennsylvania and Archibald, Pennsylvania and the entrance to the parking garage.

Weapons and late metal objects are not allowed, and bags and purses must not exceed 8.5”x11”x6”. 

LINK: Complete list of prohibited items

Some who visit Westport think these measures are a good idea. 

"I think its really I think it's going to help people feel more safe coming down here," said Joelle Prost.

Prost thinks she would feel safer being here later at night, "I know I've been avoiding the area at night for the past year or so I'm really excited that the security is coming in so I can come back and enjoy the bars and restaurants down here that I used to come to and now I will feel more comfortable being here."

However others believe the new regulations are too strict and could turn away people from coming here. 

"You should be able to have your free time to be able to come down and chill here so like being able to have a full body inspection before you come here is a little outrageous," said Jenna. 

Besides law enforcement, civil rights monitors will have a presence within the district.

"I feel like having the civil rights people here would kind of give African American people like, hey I have somebody here to kind of support me and make sure things are going the way they are supposed to be going," said Kansas City resident Brittany Green. 

These changes come after two people were shot at last month but some wonder if these changes will do anything at all to reduce crime. 

"Why Westport was kind of picked as a area to have this surveillance in a way when there's crime going on in all of Kansas City," said Green. 

The enhanced pedestrian safety program comes after more than two years of analysis from stakeholders.

As people pass through screenings, they will also have to present an ID to prove they are over 21 years-old.