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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Security checks returned to Kansas City’s Westport entertainment district last weekend and will be in place Friday and Saturday nights through the end of the summer.

It comes as both city leaders and Westport businesses work to make changes and improve security in the popular area.

Last week, three people were injured in a shooting outside a bar in the area.

Some people believe the area needs more security. It’s something some Westport business owners said could be possible if they weren’t required to spend money on civil rights monitors at checkpoints.

The monitors are in place to make sure there’s no racial profiling going on when it comes to who’s allowed into the pedestrian-only part of the district on weekends.

A spokesperson for the district said the board has reviewed a number of times whether to continue using the monitors at the metal detectors, and the board has decided on their own that they want them to continue.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he understands their concerns, but believes the cost for civil rights monitors are a secondary issue right now.

“I think our monitoring gun check program has kept offences from happening inside Westport. I think the bigger issue right now is how we make sure there aren’t shootings in adjacent parking lots,” Lucas said.

Lucas said the city has looked at paying for better lighting. Other ideas such as closing some parking lots and making the area more of a pedestrian area are also possibilities.

Added security may also be part of the plan.

“I absolutely think that more security could be helpful. I think the question is, where is the security? Right now we often have off-duty police and security guards who are in the Westport square itself, where you might be relatively safe. The last shooting on a Thursday however occurred outside of that district and so the challenge continues to be what is going on in the areas right outside,” Lucas said.

Lucas said there aren’t always good solutions when it comes to those outlying areas that are heavily impacted by what goes on inside Westport.

“For example, if there were a lot of break-ins at Arrowhead Stadium, the answer isn’t to hire more police officers to be inside the stadium. It’s more people being in the parking lots doing that type of patrol. I think that’s where the work needs to be done. That’s where we actually see us not having good solutions. Talking to the businesses that are blocks away from Westport. I mean sure we look at the district as largely from Southwest Trafficway all the way over to Main Street and seeing where can we find solutions more holistically there,” Lucas said.

Lucas said it’s all a work in progress right now, but discussions about possible changes are taking place.

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