KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, is planning to expand its curfew rules to all city parks and trails after several recent homicides that occurred on or near such areas sparked concerns.
The City Council’s Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee approved the ordinance Wednesday, the Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2r5TQ7O ) reported.
The city ordinance keeps the parks and trails open between 5 a.m. and midnight.
“We want it to be comprehensive, and we want a welcoming approach,” said Mark McHenry, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The committee also advanced a resolution directing the city manager to collaborate with the parks department on a safety plan over the next six months.
More than a dozen people who attended the hearing supported the changes and offered ideas for the safety plan.
“People are passionate about their parks, and they want to help us,” McHenry said. “That creativity from citizens is going to help make a strong safety plan.”
The curfew is a reaction to four killings around the trail system since August. The most recent was on Indian Creek Trail. The Kansas side of the trail closes the route and all other trails within city parks from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, as per a Leawood ordinance. Capt. Brad Robbins said the people mingling during closing time in Leawood parks are usually just told to leave rather than facing arrest.
“The benefit for us is to control what’s happening in the evening hours,” he said. “Once the sun’s been down a while, you’re not using the trail for recreation.”
Other safety measures that could go into the plan include more lighting, changes in the physical designs to eliminate hidden areas, more tree trimming and security cameras.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com