Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting ready for the Big 12 Tourney

Kansas City is quite the basketball town this week, and police are ready for all the fans who are expected to come here for the NCAA Big 12 women’s and men’s basketball tournaments.

Street closures began Monday around the Sprint Center and Power and Light District and will last through Saturday, March 12, so plan alternate routes if you work or live near the action. Here are the closures:

• Grand from 13th to 15th Street
• 14th Street from Main to Grand
• Walnut from 13th to 15th Street

We’ll have plenty of officers around to protect all who plan to attend the events, especially when the men’s tournament kicks off at the Sprint Center on Wednesday. Officers and horses with the Mounted Patrol will be in the Sprint Center area. Other officers from the Downtown Footbeat, Downtown Bike Patrol and Tactical Response Team 1 will be patrolling Downtown, as well. We’ll also have police monitoring parking lots not only in the immediate Sprint Center/Power and Light area but also in outer areas to prevent thefts from cars. But do yourself a favor and don’t leave anything of value in plain view in your vehicle.

The Power and Light District also has multiple surveillance cameras, the feeds of which will be monitored live at Police Headquarters during the tournament. Officers watching the cameras will alert officers on the ground to any potential problems. Plain-clothes Vice Unit detectives also will be on the look-out for illegal ticket scalping and under-age drinking.

Ideally, very little of all this will be necessary. Die-hard college basketball fans should have a great time enjoying the games and Kansas City, but police will be close by if we’re needed.

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