Gambling

Atlantic City Stabbings Highlight Resort Corridor Safety Crisis

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Posted on: January 3, 2024, 08:42h. 

Last updated on: January 3, 2024, 08:42h.

Atlantic City was the site of two fatal stabbings on New Year’s Day that police believe to be unrelated incidents.

Atlantic City stabbings security casinos
In a photograph supplied by the Associated Press, the Atlantic City Police Department shows off its surveillance network of cameras. About 200 additional cameras are being installed, as security in the resort town is of utmost importance as the new year begins. (Image: AP)

Law enforcement said they responded to the first stabbing around 6:15 a.m. Monday morning after receiving a 911 call regarding a man bleeding along S. California Avenue. S. California Ave. encompasses three blocks between Atlantic Ave. and the Boardwalk.

The victim, Vincent O’Brien III, 50, was found bleeding near the Tropicana parking lot. He died after being transported to Atlantic City Regional Medical Center. Just an hour later, police said another 911 call about a stabbing came in. That victim, Nazir Cintron, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was found at Michigan Ave. and the Boardwalk at Bally’s.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit is asking for the public’s help in investigating the cases. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the unit at 609-909-7666 or to submit an anonymous tip at ACPO.tips.

Safety Paramount Concern

Atlantic City casinos in 2023 enjoyed their best gaming year since 2018. Brick-and-mortar gaming win from the nine casinos’ physical slot machines and table games was upwards of $2.6 billion.

There is much optimism regarding the local gaming industry’s future, but casino executives say one major concern that could halt Atlantic City’s comeback is escalating crime. Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen has been among the most vocal critics of the local government.

In 2020, Allen, whose company owns and operates Hard Rock Atlantic City, said the city was worse off than it was in 2017 when the company acquired the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal. Allen lambasted the city for not quickly repairing street lights that had been out for months.

When you’re in a resort environment where safety and security is so important, if the city can’t get something fixed as simple as street lightning, then maybe a change is needed,” Allen said.

That change is finally here, as Atlantic City is amid a major investment to better secure the casino town. About 200 additional cameras are currently being installed across the city in part of a $5 million state-financed security program. Each camera has five independent lenses to provide 360-degree surveillance.

Public safety is extremely important in Atlantic City,” said Atlantic City Police Department Chief James Sarkos. Calling the cameras a “huge investment,” Sarkos believes the extended security network will “make Atlantic City safer for everybody.”

Along with the camera system, Atlantic City is also moving forward with narrowing Atlantic Ave. from four lanes down to two between Boston Ave. and New Hampshire Ave. The goal of the project is to provide more sidewalk space and bike lanes while reducing vehicular traffic along the main drag.

Crime Spike

A silver lining of the pandemic was that crime fell in many major US cities, including in Atlantic City. It’s unfortunately recovered.

Aggravated assaults in Atlantic City rose almost 11% last year to 355 incidences. Robberies climbed about 2.5% to 194 occurrences. Atlantic City counted seven homicides, one more than in 2022.

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