Monday August 15, 2018
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Congressman Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts State Police, Springfield Police and MGM Springfield officials to release public safety plans in advance of the entertainment resort’s grand opening on Friday, August 24, 2018.
The Mayor was joined by Police Commissioner John Barbieri , Lt. Col. Barry O’Brien, Deputy Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, MGM Springfield President & COO Mike Mathis, Chief of Staff Denise Jordan, Deputy Director of Development Brian Connors, City Solicitor Ed Pikula, Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, Chief Administrative & Financial Officer TJ Plante, Director of the Department of Public Works Chris Cignoli, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Atty. Tom Moore.
The City of Springfield has worked in close coordination with MGM Springfield, the Springfield Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and other entities to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure a safe and smooth grand opening, as well as a long-term public safety plan. Collectively, all parties involved are committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming downtown environment for our residents, business community and the anticipated influx of visitors to MGM Springfield and the City of Springfield. Annually, $13 million of combined city, state and MGM Springfield funds will be spent on security in downtown Springfield, without taking away police coverage from our neighborhoods.
Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Barbieri in preparation for the downtown based resort created the Metro Unit, to which 40 police officers and supervisors will be assigned. The Metro Unit is stationed out of the newly opened Police Substation at 75 Dwight Street. New public facing Police Kiosks are stationed at Main and Taylor Streets, Main and Morris Streets, and Riverfront Park. Each kiosk will be staffed with an officer, ensuring their presence and approachability.
On July 2, 2018, the Springfield Police Department and Massachusetts State Police signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Gaming Enforcement Unit comprised of SPD and state troopers who will be responsible for paroling the entire boundary of MGM Springfield. During MGM Springfield’s opening day, 50+ additional officers will be stationed in the Metro Area, and 25+ through opening weekend.
The Department of Public Works, led by Director Chris Cignoli, has developed a traffic management plan for opening weekend which can be implemented in the future for other major events. Exits 6 northbound and southbound will both be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors will be encouraged to park at the Eastern States Exposition and take complementary shuttles from the site to downtown Springfield. Springfield Parking Authority (SPA) garages will also be utilized. These parking garage locations can be found on the SPA website. Additionally, the City of Springfield’s entire traffic management plan can be found here.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said, “This continues my administration’s overall public/private collaborations not only in economic development initiatives, but just as important in public safety. I’m very appreciative of the fantastic working relationships we have with MGM, our Mass State Police, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, Congressman Neal and my City team. We welcome the thousands of visitors to have an enjoyable stay in a clean and safe Springfield. This public safety effort also helps to bolster all other neighborhood policing activities, too.”
“Our administration has been proud to work closely with local officials on several economic development and public safety projects in Springfield, and we look forward to this important initiative between the State Police, MassDOT, the City of Springfield, and private partners to enhance safety in the downtown area ahead of the opening of MGM Springfield," said Governor Charlie Baker.
“The coordination between state and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of visitors to the new casino is just the latest partnership between our administration and the City of Springfield,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Thank you to Mayor Sarno, Commissioner Barbieri, the State Police, MassDOT, and MGM for your focus on public safety.”
“With thousands of visitors arriving in Springfield for the grand opening weekend of MGM Springfield and beyond, safety is the number one priority,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “Under the careful eye of the Springfield Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and others, I am confident that a multifaceted approach will ensure the security of all those who enter our city. Thanks, as always, to Mayor Sarno for his steadfast leadership on this project.”
“The presence and approachability of the Springfield Police Department will be clear to anyone who works, lives or visits the Metro area. This increase in visibility is not just for the area directly in and around MGM Springfield, but we will have dedicated officers and/or cameras stationed everywhere from the Riverfront to Union Station as well as our continued commitment in the South End. For more than a year we have been collaborating with our city and law enforcement partners to be as prepared as possible for MGM Springfield’s opening weekend and will be ready for the ‘new normal’ that will follow,” said Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri.
“The Coordination between the DPW, SPD, MSP, MassDOT, surrounding communities, MGM and the Gaming Commission began in February to develop and extensive traffic management plan for the Opening Weekend,” said Chris Cignoli, Director of the Department of Public Works. “The coordination required by all entities was very extensive and has resulted in the very well defined and easily implementable plan to control traffic and pedestrians around the casino area that will result in a smooth grand opening.”
“The Massachusetts State Police, in conjunction with our Springfield Police partners, will work to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors to the casino, hotel, and establishments on the property,” said Lt. Col. Barry O’Brien, Deputy Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.
“MGM Springfield is proud of the strong partnerships we have formed with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in Western Massachusetts,” said Mike Mathis, President and COO of MGM Springfield. “While we have been building our new resort, Springfield Police and Mass State Police have been hard at work building strategies to protect our customers and our community. By designing a unified network that focuses on staffing, deployment, and technology, the Gaming Enforcement Unit gives us great confidence as we open our doors in Springfield.”