Westport’s Enhanced Security Screening is in effect Friday/Saturday nights 11pm – 3am from April through October
Westport – like communities across America and throughout the world – has been grappling with how to better protect the public from gun violence and improve public safety. Mixed-use districts, across the country, are searching for better and more effective ways to keep their patrons, residents, business owners and employees safe.
The public is very supportive that gun limits around bars, alcohol, and large crowds where people congregate, is common sense.
In late 2017, the City of Kansas City agreed to return the sidewalks along Pennsylvania Avenue (between 40th Street and Archibald Street) and along Westport Road (between Broadway Boulevard and Mill Street) to Westport. With that conveyance, scanning for weapons late at night when large crowds gather was able to start on August 31, 2018.
This common practice of scanning for firearms (already employed by most arenas, public buildings, stadiums, and concert venues) and prohibiting weapons inside the designated pedestrian area will now be deployed in Westport on weekend nights from April through October.
For more than a decade, Westport has checked for valid identification to admit ages 21 and older into the part of Westport catering to nightlife. This practice will continue from 11pm-3am on Friday and Saturday evenings from April through October.
Additionally, during those same hours, portions of Pennsylvania Avenue and Westport Road are closed to vehicular traffic so that the large crowds of patrons and visitors can spread out beyond the narrow historic sidewalks. This practice has been occurring for more than 20 years.
Enhanced security screening went into effect during the late summer of 2018. From that date forward, these safety precautions further recognize the pedestrian nature of the area. Scanning for weapons will be added to the procedures for anyone entering the pedestrian areas of Westport late in the evenings each Friday and Saturday that the streets are closed between April and October.
The enhanced security screening process will be routine for those who regularly attend concerts or professional sporting events. Patrons will empty their pockets, open their purse or bag and then walk through a metal detector. If the metal detector doesn’t go off, you are on your way to an evening of great food, great music and great fun with thousands of others who make Westport their entertainment destination. If the metal detector goes off, you will be asked to submit to wanding to ensure that no weapons are on your person. Patrons and visitors are not required to undergo the wanding, but those who have activated the walk-through metal detector may choose to exit the pedestrian area or submit to wanding. If the wand also detects metal they will need to exit the check point area without entering the pedestrian-only zone.
Everyone who enters the pedestrian area must submit to the enhanced security screening in order to enter after 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings during the period from April through October.
All of the steps above are being done to promote safety in Westport in response to the world we live in today. Westport is proud to take a proactive measure to address safety so all can continue to enjoy the vast array of late night options in Westport – just like millions of others have done for more than 150 years.