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Westport business owner wants funds used for observers to pay for armed security

A Westport business leader said the city is partly to blame for Sunday night’s shooting. He said money that is being spent on civil liberties observers should be spent on armed guards instead.On Sunday night, six people were shot outside the Westport Ale House. One man, Cardell Crawford, 24, died.”My prayers are with all the people who were shot and their families that have to deal with this,” said Bill Nigro, a Westport business owner.Nigro has owned property in Westport for decades. He’s a key voice in the district’s security strategy.Currently, 10% of Community Improvement District funds pay for civil rights observers. Nigro said he wants that money invested in more armed guards.”We’re the ones forced to hire the babysitters like we can’t be trusted,” Nigro said.He said no one district pays for observers and Westport has had no rights violations. Everyone goes through the security equally.”Westport wants our money back. We want to be able to secure ourselves and the city needs to get out of the way,” Nigro said.Westport is in the city’s 4th District. Its councilmembers disagree with Nigro’s proposed solution.”There were at least three officers there recently when the shootings occurred. The problem is not a lack of a security, the problem is the number of guns,” said Katheryn Shields, councilwoman for the 4th District At-Large.”I don’t know where we go from here. There are simply too many firearms in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” said Eric Bunch, councilman for the 4th District.Westport said it spends more on security per square foot than any other entertainment district in the Midwest. It has 120 security cameras on a system that links directly to the Kansas City Police Department.

A Westport business leader said the city is partly to blame for Sunday night’s shooting. He said money that is being spent on civil liberties observers should be spent on armed guards instead.

On Sunday night, six people were shot outside the Westport Ale House. One man, Cardell Crawford, 24, died.

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“My prayers are with all the people who were shot and their families that have to deal with this,” said Bill Nigro, a Westport business owner.

Nigro has owned property in Westport for decades. He’s a key voice in the district’s security strategy.

Currently, 10% of Community Improvement District funds pay for civil rights observers. Nigro said he wants that money invested in more armed guards.

“We’re the ones forced to hire the babysitters like we can’t be trusted,” Nigro said.

He said no one district pays for observers and Westport has had no rights violations. Everyone goes through the security equally.

“Westport wants our money back. We want to be able to secure ourselves and the city needs to get out of the way,” Nigro said.

Westport is in the city’s 4th District. Its councilmembers disagree with Nigro’s proposed solution.

“There were at least three officers there recently when the shootings occurred. The problem is not a lack of a security, the problem is the number of guns,” said Katheryn Shields, councilwoman for the 4th District At-Large.

“I don’t know where we go from here. There are simply too many firearms in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” said Eric Bunch, councilman for the 4th District.

Westport said it spends more on security per square foot than any other entertainment district in the Midwest. It has 120 security cameras on a system that links directly to the Kansas City Police Department.