With all the hype of a racino coming to South Ozone Park, residents have expressed concerns about safety at almost every community meeting.
In May, over 100 neighborhood residents attended Community Board 10’s monthly meeting to address the potential problems that the rush of visitors would bring the neighborhood.
They all asked Patrol Borough Queens South Assistant Chief James Secreto one question: how many police officers will be assigned to the area surrounding the soon-to-open Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park?
Even, Councilman Eric Ulrich requested more police presence at Aqueduct. He sent a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in June, stating that he believes “this request is warranted given the size and scope of the new venue and the necessary planning that will go into maintaining a good quality of life for area residents.”
At the time, Secreto assured the residents that he was working on the issue and trying to get more cops from the 106th Precinct around the racino. Last month, he told attendees of the 106th Precinct Community Council meeting that if One Police Plaza didn’t give him the additional police officers he has requested, he will provide them from the borough’s resources.
Not everyone is so sure that the area will receive a greater police presence before the racino opens. Howie Kamph, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, told the Leader-Observer paper, “I hope they give it to us, but I think they’ll play the wait-and-see game.” He applauded Ulrich for making the effort to get more cops.
There is a projected 8.4 million people visiting the casino annually, there is set to be an average of 23,000 people who will be passing through the community
“One way or another we are going to have cops there,” Secreto said.