The Atlantic City Police Department's uniformed division could switch within the next few weeks from five days per week, eight hours a day to four days per week, 10 hours a day.

Director of Public Safety Willie Glass said all studies they have seen show that this would be a more sensible way for the city to become safer.

This system allows for officers to be on different shifts, with several assigned to day duty and others going to evening and night hours. This provides them with more manpower in the troubled areas of the community. Cities around the nation that have made this change have found it to be a more efficient system for the use of police officers.

A great Fourth

The excellent weather this past Fourth of July four-day weekend provided one of the biggest crowds and financial returns along the coast of New Jersey. Newspapers, television and radio stations reported that the numbers surpassed any time we have had over the past couple of decades. The roads were crowded coming in early and going home late. The crowds on the boardwalks were overwhelming.

I spent my time in Atlantic City and saw throngs of people and their families on the Boardwalk. Most of them had smiles on their faces and were enjoying strolling the famed wooden way. The restaurants and pizza shops were all busy. Without a doubt, it was one of the biggest days they've had in quite a while. The beaches in all seashore communities were crowded with umbrellas blocking some of the sun. The only negative over the weekend was how cold the ocean was. There weren't too many bathers, except the children, who don't care whether it's cold or warm, they're in the ocean.

I visited the Steel Pier, on Friday night, I was happy to note that there were lines for just about all the different rides. People stood in line to ride the helicopter and the crazy rides they have that take you up into the sky or turn you over and over and over. I get sick just looking at them, but the riders show no effects from them. Most of them come off laughing. Needless to say, Tanger's The Walk, the city' discount retail units, had crowds all day.

The Fourth of July fireworks display last Thursday was outstanding, some of the best we've seen in years. I particularly enjoyed the Borgata display, which was magnificent. My congratulations to the Atlantic City Alliance for the simultaneous production in each of four areas of the city. It was very unusual, and the people in the Chelsea section and the Inlet were delighted that they were included in the presentation. Normally everything is in the center of town, but this time they spread it out and everyone seemed to enjoy it all the more.

Fireworks bring people to a community. Some of you will remember that the Surf baseball team's fireworks display on Friday nights brought close to 7,000 people to games, instead of their normal 2,000 spectators. People in cars on the highways pulled over to the side of the road to watch. At one time, several years ago, Atlantic City sponsored fireworks every Friday night on the beach. Those, too, brought more people into the city. Consideration should be given to renewing that type of project. All we need is good weather and we will have a great summer.

Garden Pier's 100 years old

Atlantic City's Garden Pier opened July 19, 1913, 100 years ago. It's uptown location placed it away from the frenzied activity of the "downtown" Boardwalk. The Spanish Renaissance architecture of the building and the beautifully landscaped gardens gave the pier a formal appearance that attracted an upscale crowd.

The centerpiece of the gardens was the stately B.F. Keith Theater that for many years rivaled any of those on Broadway. One of the city's largest ballrooms was on the pier. In it, dance instructors and large conventions met before the Atlantic City Auditorium was built. In its early years the Miss America Pageant was held there. Celebration concepts are under consideration as we write this column.

Eagle kite scares birds

An eagle kite that we previously wrote about at the beach in Atlantic City has been found to be able to keep birds out of the area where it has flown. One major problem is the wind. If there is a strong wind, it will fly high but if not it will stay on the ground. The kite costs $4,000. A contribution by a concerned citizen paid for the first kite. Hopefully, others might be willing to help so that the city will have at least three eagle kites flying to cut down on the number of birds flying over Atlantic City.

A.C. draws accolades

John Palmeri, executive director of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, stated, "Atlantic City is a compelling destination for many reasons that make it a favorite getaway. Year after year, we see ratings that show why it is the top choice for visitors. It is both historic and contemporary, and many visitors have developed an emotional attachment to it, making it a favorite getaway. Year after year, we see ratings that show why we are a top choice for visitors."

Here are some reasons why people return to Atlantic City:

•The Daily rated Atlantic City No. 2 on its list of 24 best boardwalks for food in the USA. Atlantic City was outranked only by Coney Island and is followed by Ocean City, N.J., and Ocean City, Md. The boardwalks were chosen based on, "reflection of region, price and quality of ingredients." Atlantic City is also the saltwater taffy capital of the world. Saltwater taffy was invented in Atlantic City in 1880 and quickly became one of the city's most popular treats.

•Atlantic City is ranked in the 10 best cities to host a marquee boxing event. stated, "Boardwalk Hall, located right on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, is a smaller venue that is filled with a history of some great fights and iconic fighters."

These are the most recent rankings to put Atlantic City first or near the top in a variety of different entities.

Pinky's Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky's Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. E-mail Pinky at: