KCPD Set to Start Plaza Patrols This Weekend

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The early warm spring weather in recent weeks has attracted large crowds of teens back to the Country Club Plaza, prompting police to begin their Plaza patrol plan this weekend.

Police won't say how many extra officers will be in the Plaza area, but they do say that they want everyone to feel safe.

The increased police presence comes after some reports of unrest that has scared off visitors and made others feel unsafe.

"We're going to have the mounted patrol units will be down there. We'll have officers on ATV's, we will have officers in uniform as well as officers not in uniform," said Jim Shriever of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.

A shooting incident on the Plaza last summer prompted the City Council to implement an early curfew for teens, but that curfew doesn't go into effect until Memorial Day weekend. In the meantime, young people under the age of 18 can stay out until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

But some say that the city should consider starting the early curfew sooner if the crowds of kids continue to cause concern.

"I think it's an excellent idea that they are beefing up security on the Plaza," said Trichelle King. "However I am encouraging my own community to go ahead and beef up security themselves. I think it's our responsibility to go ahead and get some activities, beef up security find out what our young people are doing in community and get out there and assist them."

The early curfew requires teens 15 and younger to be off the streets by 9 p.m., and 16-and17-year-olds should be home by 11 p.m. Police and community leaders say that the early curfew alone won't prevent teens from finding places to gather, and that community centers and churches need to open their doors on Friday and Saturday nights to provide entertainment options for kids.

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