Questions raised about new casino's impact on safety
SCHENECTADY, NY (WRGB)--Sgt. Matt Dearing says in the beginning of the casino's opening there will be an increased police presence, but there is no set long term policy.
"Kind of a wait and see approach, play it by ear, obviously the first few weeks we're gonna have officers down there due to it being so new and having that influx of people and visitors here to the city a sfar as someone specifically assigned right now, that is still to be determined," said Sgt. Dearing.
But, he says Schenectady police will respond when called.
"Anything that does occur outside on the casino grounds is within the City of Schenectady and that could generate a response from us," he said.
Steven Janik, Chief of the neighboring Glenville Police Department is worried less about violent crime and more about traffic.
"We recently received a traffic survey estimate giving us some figures that may occur because of the increased traffic flow, it's looking like Glenville may experience up to 40% of the incoming and outgoing traffic on the casino property," said Janik.
A Rivers Casino spokesperson sent us this statement; Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady features state of the art security systems and protocols much like you would find at other Las Vegas style casinos. Our organization makes guest safety a top priority and in fact, at other casinos operated by Rush Gaming, crime has decreased in the surrounding area after the casino opened. We are working closely with local and state police and consider them strong partners."
Chief Janik says he's seen crime statistics from other cities that have recently built casinos and hasn't seen anything that concerns him.
"Those statistics really weren't that alarming when it came to major crime, it was more traffic related issues, we may see some more DWI offenses and more DWI arrests," he said.
Opening Day at the $330 million casino is set for February 8th.