Casino Cops: ‘Leave the Nonsense at Home’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Major security plans are underway for the grand opening of Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino.

Thousands of people are expected to flood downtown city streets when the casino officially opens its doors at 9:30 Monday night. When the dice starts to roll, Cleveland city leaders want the public to know a layered security plan is in place.

Friday morning, casino reps and local law enforcement agencies held a news conference to detail a massive plan aimed at maintaining a safe and comfortable environment downtown. Although CPD would not reveal how many officers will be stationed outside the casino, officials say visitors will notice a heavy police presence.

"We have the motto: 'See something, say something,' " said Cleveland Police Homeland Services Commander Harold Pretel.

In addition to dozens of outside security cameras that will be monitored round-the-clock, 130 officers will be stationed throughout the casino.

"Our job is to lower and reduce vulnerability as low as possible. We can't eliminate risk; we can lower vulnerability," said Pretel.

The casino is expecting the first three months to be slammed with visitors. With increased traffic in and around Public Square, 14 different intersections will be staffed and police will also be cracking down on panhandlers and jaywalkers.

"Our guys are very tolerant, but we won't tolerate certain types of behavior," said CPD 3rd District Commander Patrick Stephens.

The casino will allow the general public and approximately 1,500 people with wristbands to start lining up outside the Prospect Avenue entrance at 5 p.m. Monday. Those with wristbands will be able to enter first. A special VIP party for about 1,000 guests will also take place near the Tower City entrance.

The casino's maximum capacity is 12,000. On opening night, the crowd will be kept under 5,000.

Casino President and General Manager Marcus Glover says out of 1,600 employees that were hired, 90 percent have never worked in a casino before.

"Don't expect Vegas speed. What we've focused on is accuracy, customer service, attitude and speed will come," said Glover.

With an estimated 5,000,000 visitors a year, police are reminding everyone to be on their best behavior.

"Clevelanders work hard; they should be play hard. This is the other side of the coin: leave the nonsense at home, you know what we mean," said Stephens.

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