Atlantic City’s police will debut a new unit for the holiday weekend — funded through the CRDA.
About 20 Special Law Enforcement Officer Class IIs will be assigned exclusively to the Boardwalk.
The officers will be overseen by full-time Lt. Rudy Lushina and four sergeants, all paid for through $1 million from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The number of officers will eventually go to 30, once the remainder are fully trained.
Mayor Don Guardian previously pointed out that, for the price of a Boardwalk ambassador — $12 an hour plus benefits — the CRDA could fund a Class II officer, who makes $15 an hour without benefits.
“And, in terms of protection, having a police officer in uniform is a much better way to deter crime and make the city safe,” Guardian said.
The mayor, who oversaw the city’s Special Improvement District for years, pointed out that other SIDs pay for full-time officers, including in Philadelphia.
The move will mean a greater officer presence on the Boardwalk, while freeing up seasoned officers to police elsewhere, Chief Henry White said.
The officers will be either on foot, bicycle, three-wheeled vehicles or ATVs, on both the Boardwalk and beach, White said.
“Atlantic City right now has a lot of momentum going into the summer,” he said. “Casinos had a banner first quarter for this year, and we expect a banner summer. We want all the visitors to not only feel safe but be safe. It’s a win-win for everyone in the city thanks to the CRDA.”
The city promoted four officers to sergeant and a sergeant to lieutenant on Friday. That will be funded by the CRDA as well, Guardian said.