MGM Springfield Promises ‘Safer Downtown’

Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts has for years been considered an unsafe place at night. That’s going to change says Jason Rucker, who took over recently as the new director of security for the MGM Springfield. Rucker promises a “newer, safer downtown.”

The director of security for the MGM Springfield, due to open this September, is promising residents of the city a “newer, safer downtown.”

Jason Rucker told the Republican, “We will have a safe facility. There will be good parking, good lighting, and it’s just a good place to have a good time.”

This would be a 180 degree turn away from the downtown’s reputation for the first years of the millennium—especially after the sun goes down.

Rucker promised “It’s the newer, safer downtown” when his appointment as executive director of security for the casino was announced. Besides the casino he will also be responsible for security and safety for the Mass Mutual Center, which the casino will be managing for the city. His other partners in this endeavor will be federal, state and local law enforcement and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and its enforcement arm. He is already holding regular meetings with police.

Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield, echoed Rucker’s commitment. “Safety and security are paramount at MGM Springfield. I know Jason will build and lead a vigilant team of professionals whose number one goal will be to create and maintain a safe, secure environment for our guests, employees, and neighbors. He’s already on the job, building his team and developing relationships in the local law enforcement community,” he said.

The casino will be relying on millions of dollars of state of the art security, including high tech surveillance.

Local law enforcement is also a little bit handicapped in that some of the crimes they will be guarding against are unique to casinos—crimes such as cheating a casino. Things like trying to sneak more money onto a table (or the reverse) while a game is in progress. Such activity is considered larceny.

Meanwhile state police have begun taking courses on gaming issues and enforcement. The casino itself will have about 200 security personnel, all under Rucker’s command. They will include K-9 officers who will be more concerned with sniffing out drugs, explosives and illegal firearms.

Rucker warns away potential crooks. “Do you really want to be here? There’s going to be pictures of you, videos of you, doing whatever it is you are doing,” he told the Republican. “You’re probably on camera from a mile away if you come in the right direction.”

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