Atlantic City Tourism District Commander Tom Gilbert


Michael Ein

ATLANTIC CITY - The city's Tourism District will officially have a commander starting Thursday.

Tom Gilbert has been acting in that capacity, but will formally take on the role now that his retirement from the State Police - where he has been serving as chief of staff - goes into effect.

"I think we've gotten a lot of stuff already under way," Gilbert said of plans for the city.

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Gilbert, along with Atlantic City police Deputy Chiefs Ernest Jubilee and Henry White, have stressed that they are taking a joint approach to policing the city.

Plans include an "Eyes on Atlantic City" system similar to that in Camden, where cameras are used to help fight crime. The first step has been taking an inventory of all the privately owned cameras currently in the city, including where they are located and contact information for each. The cameras at Bally's Atlantic City were used earlier this summer to help identify a man accused of wounding two Cumberland County brothers in a shooting onto the Boardwalk just hours after the city's Fourth of July celebration.

Also on the priority list is a formal plan to upgrade the city Police Department's outdated technology and finding other proactive ways to help combat violence.

"We have said that this is a holistic approach," Gilbert said Wednesday. "There is only one Uniform Crime Report number for the city. That doesn't distinguish whether it's inside or outside of the Tourism District."

Other plans include better traffic management and a public-private partnership with businesses, such as Tanger Outlets, which owns The Walk.

"A series of meetings are planned for early September to push some of these objectives forward," Gilbert said.

The retired State Police lieutenant colonel will now work for the state Attorney General's Office, where his salary will be $80,620. That is a significant cut from the $135,000 salary he was making with the State Police.

No decision has been made to fill the chief of staff position because, until Wednesday, Gilbert was still serving in that capacity, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

Gilbert, 52, will maintain his standing as a law-enforcement officer, which allows him more access to certain information than a civilian director would have.

Gilbert will work out of the Casino Control Commission building at Tennessee Avenue and the Boardwalk, which also houses the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The Tourism District commander is not new to the area. Gilbert's three-decade career has brought him to Atlantic City several times, including working organized-crime cases in the 1980s and heading an undercover sting in 1990 that ended with a Syrian man charged with conspiring to smuggle automatic weapons out of the country in exchange for heroin. In 2007, he helped announce the takedown of a sports gambling ring at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

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