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With an AFC West title and MVP in Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs camp may see some record-breaking numbers this summer. But with higher numbers come more security measures.
Jill Voltmer, the chief of university police at Missouri Western, said the crowds always have come to camp with a great attitude. However, contingencies are in place to make sure that everyone attending feels safe while watching their favorite players practice.
The newest addition to these security measures, a bag check at the entrance near Missouri Western’s scoreboard, will be all too familiar to those who have attended a Chiefs or Royals game.
“We want people to be very educated about that, because we don’t want there to be a big bottleneck with people backed up,” Voltmer said. “Last year, our largest day was 7,000 people. We anticipate we’ll have several days of that this year.”
Prohibited items can be found on the Kansas City Chiefs website under the training camp tab, though signs across campus and in the parking areas will inform attendees of what they can and cannot bring along.
These items include coolers, noisemakers, selfie sticks, alcohol, flammable liquids and signs, banners or flags that exceed a certain size, among other things.
“One of our contingencies is that we have added several different officers to give us more manpower,” Voltmer said of the security. “We’ve come up with a traffic plan with the city of St. Joseph traffic division, so we hope that will be more organized. We don’t know what the numbers are going to be, but we’re going to prepare for them.”
Each summer, about 30,000 to 50,000 visitors have attended Chiefs camp, though the number is expected to rise significantly this year.
Ropes, cones and guides will direct attendees through permitted areas, and a Mosaic Life Care tent will house water as well as a medical team should the heat be too intense.
“We have a great collaboration with Chiefs security. Several different stakeholders come and we meet and debrief and see how things could be better, and we try to implement those things next year,” Voltmer said of her experience with camps of the past. “This is the 10th year, so we were able to pull on other people’s knowledge to make it better.”
The Chiefs will begin camp on Wednesday, July 24. Practices are closed to the general public until Saturday, July 27, and they will run through Thursday, Aug. 15.
Located south of Downtown on Eighth Street, the Crossing Outreach Ministry has been a much needed safety net for the community, but on the coin’s flip side, it has unintentionally brought “bad actors” to the area who have created safety concerns.
St. Joseph Health Department Director Debra Bradley will be the administrator of a new initiative aimed at providing additional security to the area, as well as ramping up resources for homeless individuals.
Mosaic Life Care will be financing the strategy with a grant called Community Connect Dollars.
“This program is called the Urban Mission Project,” Bradley said.
Beginning Oct. 1, the Crossing will become a full-time operation, gaining a Community Action Partnership Community Health Worker, Pivotal Point Transitional Housing support and a security officer.
“We’ve also partnered with the St. Joe Police Department to hire an off-duty police officer to help us add some identified hours that they feel are the most necessary,” Bradley said. “We’re going to be having quarterly stakeholder meetings, and we will publicize those through the media.”
A neighborhood group also is being formed, which will hold its fourth meeting at the Patee Market Health Center on July 31 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The jurisdiction of the group is still being determined but potential boundaries could run north and south between Felix Street and Mitchell Avenue, and east and west between Ninth Street and the river.
Area businesses and the homeless were not represented well at the meeting on Monday. They are invited to attend the next meeting, as well as any area homeowners.
A member of the audience suggested that things around the Crossing have gotten worse over the past year, instead of better — a thought that gained the group’s general consensus.
A separate meeting that discusses the homeless every month has occurred for sometime. The “Continuum of Care” meeting happens with multiple social welfare groups on the last Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. and it’s hosted by the United Way.
A St. Joseph Police task force entered a home after obtaining a search warrant on the 1500 block of Felix Street and found it empty around 4 p.m. Monday. The house was the site of an alleged shooting that took place around 1 p.m. Monday afternoon. The suspect, an adult male, appeared to have fled the scene, though it is not known exactly when or how.
The suspect’s whereabouts were unknown.
Police said an adult male victim was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Witnesses reported seeing the shooting suspect return inside the house. The residence is believed to belong to the victim. Police concluded a search of the home and were looking for the suspect.
Police surrounded the structure and repeatedly used a loudspeaker to order the man to exit with his hands up, but he did not comply.
The names of the alleged victim and suspect are known to law enforcement, but they have not been released to the public. Police said the suspect resides at the home they searched on Felix Street.
Stay with News-Press NOW as this story develops.
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We are nearing the start of the 10th annual Chiefs’ training camp here in St. Joseph. Plenty of businesses have scheduled events for all the fun.
The Red Rally is being hosted for the first time in Downtown St. Joseph this year and Downtown businesses are offering deals in correlation with the event.
“We have a few different businesses that are signed on to do some things. At Nesting Goods from 5 to 8 p.m. they will be doing face painting,” Kristi Bailey, who works with Made With Uncommon Character, said. “At Manic Snail you can go in and get free red neon glow bracelet.”
If you spot anything red in Mod Podge Boutique & Design Studio you can get 25 percent off that item at the Red Rally. Wiry Orphan is offering a discount on all their apparel as well.
Those deals the stores are promoting will just be available this Friday and not last through the entire training camp period.
The Family Center Farm & Home is in its second straight year partnering with Missouri Western for the Chiefs Family Fun Day. The store will host the Family Fun Day After Party. The event will have live music, face painting, a petting zoo, free food and drinks, deals on items and more.
And if you need to know how much money to bring to the event, don’t worry.
“Everything is absolutely free. Free hot dogs, free petting zoo, free live music, free rides in the carriage with the Clydesdale horses,” Mel Bachali, store manager at Family Center Farm & Home, said. “We just want everyone to come out and have a great fun-filled family day after Chiefs camp.”
Bachali also said that events for not just their store but all of the community show appreciation for the Chiefs and that it is nice to see everyone come together.
“It is wonderful thing to have in town. It is great to get everybody involved in different aspects,” Bachali said. “I just think that it is super important that it (training camp) continues to stay here in town. And it is just a great thing to boost that Chiefs spirit.”