Today: Time to Put an End to Unnecessary Police & Liquor Raids in Westport

 

In the words of Rodney King, "Can’t we all just get along?"

That’s how Westport businessman Bill Nigro feels about the recurring weekend night raids on bars and restaurants in Westport spearheaded by KC Liquor Control and backed by uniformed members of the Kansas City Police force.

Totally unnecessary, Nigro says.

Task forces of police and badge-toting officials descend on local establishments during prime time weekend business hours, demanding to examine their liquor, food and health licenses. All the while, scaring off customers, interrupting the flow of business – and in at least one case – not allowing a customer to enter the business.

"I know the doorman at The Union of Westport has had to produce his liquor card for either police or Liquor Control at least three times in the last three weeks," Nigro says. "How often do you get asked to see your driver’s license? Places in Westport get checked almost every month. They want to see our business licenses. They want to see employee’s liquor cards. They want to close us down. I don’t understand."

Instead of making a dramatic show of force over minor paperwork, why not just check the records? Nigro asks.

"They’ve got computers, they should be able to punch a few buttons and see if we’re behind on our licenses," Nigro says. "Instead they come in on a Friday or Saturday night when things are the busiest and we have to pull the licenses down off the wall so they can look at them.

"Saturday night an entourage of liquor and police officers – maybe eight people – were going door-to-door checking primarily bars, checking licenses. And at Union, a patron tried to walk in and the policeman at the door said he couldn’t. So then, I walked in and one of the policemen knew me so they didn’t say anything. But it’s bullshit – I got mad – and that’s why I went in. They have absolutely no business stopping somebody from walking into a place unless there’s a crime happening."

If Liquor Control has to do the license checks live, "Why don’t they do it on a weekday afternoon if they want to waste their time?" Nigro says. "Or they could have somebody sit on a computer and see who’s behind on their license, then give them a courtesy call instead of a raid with six to eight people coming into your place on a Friday or Saturday night and making a spectacle.

"Two months ago they did it with 10 people at 10 p.m. And I saw them in Martini Corner that same night at Martini Corner’s prime time. And I said to one of the vice agents, ‘Hey, did you catch anybody?’ And he said, ‘Not yet. But it’s still early.’

"I mean, everybody that’s there is wondering what’s going on. That maybe they shouldn’t come in. Why the show of force? They could do this with one officer. What are we gonna do, attack ’em? Instead of wasting eight people, they could be patroling the parking lots and the perimeter of the entertainment areas where the thieves and opportunists are out robbing people. Why not go after the real crime instead of us?"

Nigro’s bottom line: "I’m sick of it. We’re the ones paying the taxes and the guys from the city coming in shaking us down own 70 percent of the biggest competitor we have ( the Power & Light District). Why do we get the hassle and the P&L gets the money?"

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5 Responses to Today: Time to Put an End to Unnecessary Police & Liquor Raids in Westport

  1. Craig Glazer says:

    Nigro is Way Right
    What a total, total, total, waste of police hours and manpower. THERE IS NO DAMN MINOR DRINKING PROBLEM, nobodies is complaing about that!!!!!! Its jack off time for those cops, get girls phone number time. Hassle people we don’t like, for no god damn reason, time….fuck off time. THIS IS CRIMINAL….ARe YOU SERIOUS…put those cops to work!!!! Protecting YOU…LET THEM PULL OVER GANG BANGERS, work from 11 til 4 AM protecting Westport, The Plaza Downtown…come on, this is a total waste of time and money….IT NEEDS TO END AND NOW, THIS HAS GONE ON FOR TWENTY YEARS….lets see them go into the Plaza ONCE, they have NEVER EVER NEVER GONE TO THE PLAZA WITH THIS SHIT, NEVER…THATS A FACT…its just westport and where they think the sage NIGGERS…you heard it, are…thats how they look at it….go be tough with bangers and hood rats guys….come on…this is such a crime. I know I’ve seen it over and over and over again…SURE GLAD THEY FOUND THAT ONE FAKE ID, Wish I ran the police dept….God damn.

  2. chuck says:

    It does sound like someone has a hard on
    for Westport merchants.

    I am unqualified to comment, I quit goin to Westport many years ago, I am way too old.

    However, I am very aware of the murders, rape, theft and crime which appears in the KC Star, and other publications (Including Blogs), and those crimes would seem to take precedence over these types of checks.

    That notwithstanding, I am wondering if America’s Thug, er…, Pub was run out on liquor License violations. If in fact that was true, you sure wouldn’t want the only checks of licensing to be at that bar alone.

    You would have to spread the pain, to lance the boil.

    “Ok, the shitheads are gone, now go bust everyone else’s balls, until we are even, so we don’t get sued.”

    Maybe…?

  3. West says:

    Not just Westport
    I’ve seen this happen at bars in Midtown and Downtown.

  4. harley says:

    NIGROS QUOTE
    I mean, everybody that’s there is wondering what’s going on. That maybe they shouldn’t come in. Why the show of force? They could do this with one officer. What are we gonna do, attack ’em? Instead of wasting eight people, they could be patroling the parking lots and the perimeter of the entertainment areas where the thieves and opportunists are out robbing people. Why not go after the real crime instead ”

    IF I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CRIME/RAPE/ROBBERY/MURDER EVEN IN THE PARKING LOTS OR IN THE PERIMETER OF THESE JOINTS I’M GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE. IF I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WALKING TO MY CAR TO GET HOME OR TO
    JUST WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND POSSIBLY GETTING ROBBED OR SHOT I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THESE PLACES.
    AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED IF THATS THE PROBLEM…SHUT THEM ALL DOWN AND MOVE THE CRIMINALS IN TO THEIR OWN AREAS. NO WAY I’M GOING TO WESTPORT WHEN THE SITUATION IS AS BAD AS IT IS REPORTED HERE.

    I PREFER JOHNSON COUNTY….WHERE THERES NO CRIME…RIFF RAFF….SHOOTINGS….ROBBERIES…
    SO PLEASE KEEP THOSE HOODLUMS ON YOUR SIDE OF THE STATE LINE…THANKS!

  5. BarKeeper says:

    Lots of Screeching
    You guys sound like a lost calf that’s lost its mother. Quit bawling and get hold of your elected officials by the throat. And the pics posted with this rant must have come from Botello’s scrap book, having nothing to do with the blog.

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