For years it’s been called the Wild, Wild Westport...
Truth is, it’s only wild after about 3 am on the rare, odd weekend nights.
The inner city bad guys are out late at night looking for trouble and they often cruise the area in and around Westport.
Why? Its near where they live.
It’s been a popular entertainment district for decades and the hood people think it’s cool to do their dirty work where they’ll get attention.
Sad thing is, Westport, our most popular entertainment district over the past 50 years, gets blamed for not doing enough to prevent crime.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I was there for over 30 years with Stanford’s,
All we did then – and they still do – – is work on security day and night.
Westport has one of the best private security forces in the city and the Midwest. They have the Kansas City Police down there nightly and in force on weekend nights in the summer.
Almost all the problems go down after 3 a.m. weekend nights.
And yet anything that happens nearby is blamed on Westport. Why?
It’s a name part of town that everybody knows and media like the Kansas City Star loves to crucify them..
Now there’s talk of forcing Westport to close earlier than 3 a.m. and its streets being privatized .
However, the bars make a huge amount of money between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends.
And the late night action is also a reason to go to Westport in the first place because. Kansas bars close at 2 a.m. or earlier.
Westport wants the streets privatized so police can control them on busy weekend nights.
The restaurant and bar owners hate to close the streets at 10pm on weekends but it’s for public safety. Parking is tough down there as it is as we all know.
Westport’s owners meet weekly and monthly to work on public safety.
Almost all the night spots there have doormen and their own security staff as well. Over the past 50 years there has been maybe one shooting incident in a bar there. That’s a pretty damn good record with millions of guests over that time frame.
Face it, thugs are a nationwide problem.
It’s the reason most people don’t go out late at night anywhere much anymore.
That and D.U.I. checks.
However, to blame the folks n Westport who work their butts off and spend a fortune to make sure violence doesn’t take place is nuts.
They’re the good guys.
Westport has survived all the bad press and these issues for decades, other areas have not. For example the Plaza.
The Plaza is a much nicer area but it has no night life anymore – none.
No nightclubs or busy bars and that’s kinda sad.
The Plaza’s dead at 10 pm even on weekends.
Bad press about the Plaza’s young people problems the past handful of years.
Westport though has survived it’s bad press and done a great job of stopping crime for the most part. Leadership from longtime Westport community leaders like Bill Nigro, the Kelly’s, the Blochs and many more have made Westport overall as safe as any entertainment area that busy in the midwest.
The solution to Westport’s recent spate of problems:
Focus on the thugs who shouldn’t be around there in the first place. Go after the bad guys not the good guys. Give the police more options to just keep the cars from roaming the streets after 2 a.m, in that area. If you aren’t in a bar or shopping in Westport late at night you need not be there, right? For what?
Nightlife in KC isn’t near what it used to be – not half what it was just 10 or 15 years ago.
Don’t let the thugs make it worse.
Put pressure on them not the hard working Kansas City families that run Westport and other entertainment areas.
Back them, not the jerks who don’t care about anyone. The ones who commit the violence need to go, not the entertainment areas. If you close earlier the thugs will still be out doing the same thing in the same areas.