CRDA Renews Contracts for Class II Community Police Officers, Announces Movement on ShopRite
ATLANTIC CITY (May 18, 2021) – The city’s efforts to bring a quality supermarket back to the resort are advancing after the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority issued a memorandum of understanding to the developer and operator of the proposed ShopRite.
According to the memorandum, CRDA and Village Supermarket Inc. have until July 30 to enter into the final master operator and developer agreement.
“This is a great step forward,” said Robert Mulcahy, chairman of the authority’s board of directors.
The proposed 40,000-square-foot ShopRite would be located at Baltic and Indiana avenues.
Executive Director Matt Doherty said the CRDA understands how important it is to fulfill the project to address the needs of Atlantic City residents who live in a food desert.
“We are committed to making it a reality,” Doherty recently said, adding the project is necessary for the city.
The resort has been without a proper grocery store for more than 15 years, forcing residents to go to the mainland or neighboring Ventnor for groceries.
The city is considered a food desert because access to affordable, healthy food is limited due to the absence of a supermarket.
Access to high-quality food was identified as a focus in a 2018 report by state officials on steps Atlantic City could take to return to local control. The report, co-authored by Jim Johnson, former special counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy, highlighted the city’s issues.
The project has been in the works since October 2018, but factors such as COVID-19 have kept it in the pre-development stage until now.
The CRDA also renewed two $1.5 million agreements with the city for the deployment of up to 68 Class II police officers throughout the Tourism District and 15 neighborhood coordination officers across the city.
The CRDA has been funding the deployment of part-time Class II officers for five years, committing more than $10 million to public safety initiatives in the city.
The neighborhood coordination officer program created in 2019 places two designated full-time police officers in each of the city’s six wards and assigns three officers to community outreach.
“I can’t imagine what it (Atlantic City) would be like if we didn’t have the (Class II and neighborhood coordination) officers,” said interim Officer-in-Charge James Sarkos. “I’m very grateful to the CRDA for this program.”