Ordinance passes to privatize Westport-area sidewalks - KCTV5 News

Ordinance passes to privatize Westport-area sidewalks

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If you hang out in Westport, you’ll soon notice a change now that a council just passed an ordinance to privatize sidewalks in the area.

A two-block perimeter from Broadway to Mill Street, and on Pennsylvania from 40th to Archibald will be set up. 

People who enter that area on Friday and Saturday nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a. m. will have to go through metal detectors to be checked for weapons and other contraband. 

Right now, about 45 officers patrol the area and the sidewalk vacation will free up those officers to patrol other parts of the city. 

The city can take back the sidewalks at any time without reason with a 30-day notice. 

They’ve also set up accountability measures to protect civil rights and prevent discrimination. 

Westport’s community improvement district will fit the bill for expenses. 

Business owners said this is a way for people who visit the area on the weekends to feel a little safer. 

“We’ve been having some violence from over the past year or so, from people having guns in the neighborhood and because we don’t have the police to protect our neighborhood,” said Tom Platt with the Westport Neighborhood Association, “because they’ve all been over in the core taking care of the problems they have on the weekend.”

“With the proliferation of guns across America and in Missouri in particular, we’ve had to make some changes,” said Kyle Kelly, co-owner Kelly’s. “This is innovative. It’s outside the box, but we feel like it’s going to be very effective.”

You can expect to see security checkpoints pop up in Westport this spring. 

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