Contact: Elaine Zamansky, Media Relations Manager
CRDA Increases Public Safety in Tourism District by Funding Additional Class II Officers for ACPD
(Atlantic City, NJ, February 16, 2016) – The Board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) agreed to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Atlantic City to fund additional Class II police officers for the Atlantic City Tourism District.
Class II officers are hourly employees who have complete police powers while on duty and may carry firearms, but do not have off-duty arrest powers and do not carry their weapons home.
CRDA will provide up to $1 million, which will reimburse the City for training, labor, equipment, body cameras, bullet resistant vests, uniforms and communications equipment for 30 Class II officers in a specialized unit serving the Tourism District, as part of an ongoing commitment to bolster public safety resources and enhance the visibility of the police in the District. These officers will supplement the existing force of Class II officers paid by the City of Atlantic City. CRDA will equip the new officers with high visibility vests and patches that say “Tourism District Patrol.”
“Our Public Safety Committee and members of the Board found this program to be beneficial, necessary and consistent with CRDA’s ‘Clean and Safe’ mission,” said Robert Mulcahy, chairman of the CRDA Board.
According to CRDA Executive director John Palmieri, the unit will blend with the existing Special Improvement District (SID) Ambassadors unit. “It will be a noticeable and effective method of improving the public perceptions about safety in Atlantic City,” he said.
To better fit CRDA’s and SID’s visitor service standards, the program will include training in Tourism District Awareness and Customer Service Delivery, an element not normally included in the mandated Law Enforcement Certification for Class II officers. CRDA also created monitoring guidelines and liaison controls for transparency and accountability, and SID Director Rick Santoro, CPP, will provide project oversight.
The new Class II officers will be in place by July.
CRDA’s Clean and Safe initiatives also include implementation of the Ambassador program throughout the Atlantic City Tourism District, replacement of street and Boardwalk lighting with brighter LED lights, funding for new police communications equipment and a planned series of cameras at Boardwalk street ends that will be connected with the Public Safety department, as well as an enhanced program of cleaning along the Boardwalk and beaches, creation of pocket parks on undeveloped lots and landscaping services throughout the area.
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The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA responsibilities expanded to include land use regulation, clean and safe initiatives, tourism marketing, ownership and oversight of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to brand and market Atlantic City. The former ACCVA, now a division of CRDA, is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.
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