Police step up Plaza patrols to prevent crowds of rowdy teens - KCTV5

Police step up Plaza patrols to prevent crowds of rowdy teens

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With warmer days ahead, the Kansas City Police Department is stepping up its patrols of the Country Club Plaza in an effort to prevent problems from hordes of rowdy teens.

The department will have additional officers on the Plaza starting this weekend and stretching into September. Plaza management is hiring off-duty officers to help, and officers won't be pulled from other areas unless needed. Officers will be paid overtime when needed.

Police say unruly crowds in entertainment districts isn't a police issue, but a parenting and community issue.

Merchants welcome the announcement. They talk about the problems teens cause, including shoplifting.

Vinca jewelry store owner Simon Zouein said teens should not be on the Plaza after stores have closed.

"All that results from it is trouble," he said. "They have no reason to be here."

Twenty-four hours after police announced the plans for additional patrols, people said they are already noticing a change.

"Looked like there were some police cars. Didn't know if that's a temporary station that they're going to be working out of or not but it was right down the street from Kona (Grill)," said Brian Moore.

Moore lives down the street from most of the shops, stores and coffee houses many frequent during the warmer months, some of which have been targeted in recent weeks. The recent teen mob that stormed through the Plaza is one reason why many are supporting the new KCPD crackdown.

"It's probably for the best. I've heard a lot of people and stores are getting stolen from," said Bailey Wilson.

But residents said they're not relying on police to do everything.

"Do your due diligence, keep your eyes and ears open and don't do anything you're not supposed to," said Moore.

In response to violence on the Plaza last summer, the Kansas City Council passed a beefed-up curfew ordinance. (Read more about that decision, including the times, by clicking here.)

The police department brass says officers will have a zero-tolerance policy for problems. Kids will be detained for curfew violations and other issues. Parents face citations for curfew violations by their children.

For details about the city's curfew and the times, click here.

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