City council members want action to make parks and trails safer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Unsolved homicides along the city's trail network have the attention of the council members.

The public safety committee Wednesday discussed closing parks at night and other options as part of a city-wide park safety plan.

Four similar homicides along the Indian Creek and Blue River trails, combined with other crime concerns in city parks, have some council members demanding action now.

There's a proposal to close the Indian Creek Trail and other city parks between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Trail users have noticed that when you cross the state line into Kansas, there are signs saying the trail and parks close a half hour after sunset.

Others say closing the trails and parks would just make them a haven for criminals.

They favor using cameras and other technology to watch over the parks and keep them safe.

"We’ve had some various, serious things happen, particularly out on the sixth district and Indian Creek that I don’t think we can wait another year to find the solution," said Katheryn Shields, 4th District council representative.

The parks director says police cameras are being installed along Indian Creek Trail between Holmes and Wornall roads. Police say they are still scouting locations and may not have them ready until later in the week.

Some claim a park curfew may pose an additional burden for stretched thin police officers to enforce. They believe discouraging park use at any time of day helps breed crime.