Karaoke? Sports? Lure needed to rescue the Plaza

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte at the Urban Summit.

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte at the Urban Summit.

The Kansas City police chief asks for help giving young people something to do besides disrupt the Country Club Plaza.

Police will start detaining more of the unruly juveniles, Chief Darryl Forte said in his blog, but they want some help from businesses and civic groups.

“We’re open to suggestions,” he said. “A free movie or concert. Karaoke. A sports tournament. A game night. A dance party.”

Parks and Recreation provides activities for them in the summer but not the winter, and the youths have started disrupting the Plaza in recent weeks.

Also from the chief’s blog:

Police will assign more officers there in coming weekends.

“This means we will arrest and detain juveniles who are breaking the law. No longer will we give numerous warnings.”

The young lawbreakers will be taken to a holding area where their parents will be called to pick them up.

“Parents need to know it is unacceptable to let their unsupervised children wander the city.”

So far the Plaza is the only entertainment district with the problem, he said, but police will respond the same way if it develops elsewhere.

At the Plaza, they are working to address issues at the Cinemark Theater, he said, where much disorder begins.

A U.S. Justice Department mediator will work with the theater, Plaza security and young people to help resolve issues, he said.

Also, Kansas City Parks and Recreation has agreed to open the Brush Creek Community Center from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays to give youth an entertainment option.

There will be free bus rides for teens from the Plaza to the community center.

There will not, however, be any free bus rides from the community center to the Plaza.

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