KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Social media lit up this past weekend with posts about unruly crowds and fights in Westport, raising concerns about the safety of the area.
“Completely crowded,” said Hannah Riga. “You can hardly get through.”
YouTube user IBWC KC posted video showing KCMO police keeping close watch. Some officers directed traffic while others reprimanded partiers.
It was a crowded scene for people who’ve been loyal to Westport for years aren’t sure about.
'It’s a little more uncomfortable sometimes because just trying to get down the sidewalk is so packed and everyone is kind of rude,” said Joshua Wallace.
Other partygoers told FOX 4 they don’t mind the crowds.
“I think they’re really friendly and the people seem really nice,” said Jenna Weaver.
Still, one thing is clear.
“Whenever you take so many people and you crowd them into such a small space, something is bound to happen,” said Wallace.
Police say that “something” is usually a fight.
“When you get the stagnant crowds, all crowded in one location, you’re going to get people brushing up against people, people losing their temper, and that usually starts fights,” said Captain Darren Ivey with KCMO police.
Capt. Ivey said officers in Westport arrested just one person this weekend for fighting, and said most crime they deal with there is property crime, like car break-ins, rather than violence.
But they do recognize the potential for it and prepare accordingly.
“You try to spread out so you have a good idea of the entire area, what`s going on,” Capt. Ivey said. “But generally, yes, the people behave themselves.”
Capt. Ivey said additional officers man the sidewalks and streets in Westport each weekend. He compared any issue there to what officers typically see in other entertainment districts around the city.