Westport’s enhanced security, including metal detector screenings, begins this weekend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you plan to visit Westport this weekend, enhanced security begins this weekend.

Enhanced security will only take place on Friday and Saturday nights in the entertainment district and only between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Pedestrians will have to enter through metal detectors at one of four checkpoints -- at Westport and Mill, at Westport and Broadway, at Pennsylvania and Archibald or at Pennsylvania and the entrance to the nearby parking garage.

Westport's pedestrian-only area on Friday and Saturday nights.

Westport also implemented a pedestrian-only zone in April. That means you won't be able to drive in or out of portions of Pennsylvania Avenue and Westport Road from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. either.

The security will resemble the security at a sports venue. Things like guns, other weapons and large metal objects are prohibited, and bags and purses can't be bigger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches by 6 inches.

Here are a few other items that are prohibited went entering the screening area as well:

  • Adult toys
  • Alcohol
  • Ammunition
  • Antlers
  • Baby carriers
  • Balloons
  • Bicycles
  • Blankets
  • Camera tripods
  • Coffee
  • Drum sticks
  • Duct tape
  • Empty water bottles
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable liquids or paints
  • Flowers
  • Food
  • Glow sticks
  • Laptops
  • Lithium batteries
  • Skateboards
  • Violins
  • Vitamins
  • Walking sticks

There are several other items that are prohibited or have special use limitations. Find the full 19-page list here.

This change has been years in the making, prompted by a series of shootings and other violence within the district. The goal is to promote safety in Westport.

In late 2017, Kansas City council agreed to privatize streets and sidewalks in Westport. Because of that decision, Westport district leaders gained the ability to scan for weapons during late night hours.

People who spoke with FOX4 just hours before the screenings began Friday night seemed to know about the change and planned for it accordingly.

“I think it’s great. I think for people like us who want to come down on a Friday night and feel more safe and secure and hang out and have a good time, I think it’s a good idea,” Westport patron Katie Evers said.

“It will be a little inconvenient but if you don’t have anything to hide you don’t have anything to worry about either,” Westport patron Brian Wilkinson said.