Friday, July 6, 2012

Police are ready for All-Star week

Today marks the official kick-off of Major League Baseball All-Star Game events in Kansas City, and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department is more than ready.

We have been planning for this event for more than a year, when we sent a delegation of KCPD commanders to Phoenix last July to learn how their city handled the event. Since then we have created a comprehensive plan and tested it with both the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a full-scale exercise in April. The plan even received a U.S. Army “Red Team” review from the staff and students at the prestigious University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth. We also have set up a text message alert system to keep you aware of traffic issues and any emergencies that may arise. Sign up by texting ALLSTARKC to 888777.

We have ensured we have as many resources available from July 6-10 as possible. Only department members who submitted their requests six months in advance were allowed to take vacation time during All-Star events so we can have the maximum number of personnel on duty. At any given time, there will be about 300 police officers dedicated specifically to All-Star events throughout the city in the next five days. This will not affect regular neighborhood police presence. These officers are on special assignment. We are pulling them from every element of the department – from D.A.R.E. to the Internal Affairs Unit. Even Police Academy Recruits will be assisting. The city has allotted $250,000 for overtime to cover additional staffing costs.

In addition to the many more officers you will see, there will be many officers and non-sworn department members working behind the scenes you won’t. Everyone from dispatchers to commanders will be working in the City’s Emergency Operations Center, command posts, at Kauffman Stadium and in and around hotels and other area attractions. Some will be among the crowds in plain clothes looking for suspicious activity. Others will be watching security camera feeds while still others will be gathering and analyzing intelligence.

The public should be aware of some traffic issues that will take place during All-Star events. Expect congestion around Bartle Hall downtown for the Fan Fest and around Kauffman Stadium. Two big events also will cause road closures: the Charity 5K and Fun Run that will be downtown on the morning of Sunday, July 8, (click to see the  5K route map), and the Red Carpet Parade that will be on the Plaza on Tuesday, July 10 (click to see the parade route map). Cars parked on the Plaza will need to be moved by 10 p.m. July 9. Anyone attending All-Star events should take the same precautions we always give: do not leave items of value in your vehicle and be aware of your surroundings. Trust your gut.

While KCPD has played a big role in planning for the security of Kansas City playing host to the All-Star Game, we could not have done it with our local, state and federal partners. They include: The Kansas City Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management, the Jackson and Platte County Sheriff’s Departments, the Independence Police Department, the Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Kansas City Regional Terrorism Early Warning Center, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We all have worked together very well to ensure you have the most fun and safest baseball experience possible.

At KCPD, we are proud to be ambassadors for Kansas City, and we look forward to serving and protecting those who attend the All-Star Game events.

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