Austintown Township prepares for safe launch of new racino - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Austintown Township prepares for safe launch of new racino

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Hollywood Gaming has already provided some funds that could help cover the cost of additional police patrols, and Austintown's police chief has already taken steps to find out what his department needs to do to secure the township.

"As far as crime is concerned, obviously our police department is very pro-active. One of the things we've already done is we've began to attack the crime with the prostitution," said Jim Davis, Austintown Township trustee.

As the dirt continues to be shoveled, and more new neighbors welcomed, the township has become more proactive to make sure Austintown is prepared for the debut of the new racino, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

"Our police chief, Bob Gavalier, has actually gone to Toledo. He's met with the individuals in Toledo and has visited that racino and casino project up there, so that we can be aware of how they deal with the crimes in that area and what we should be expecting. Now, he's been on top of things and made sure to be prepared for when this racino does open," said Davis.

Penn National, along with it's own security and surveillance, has also provided some funding to the township that can be used for additional patrols.

"We'll probably have an increased patrol presence down there. Talking with the racino, they're talking about maybe hiring a couple of officers down there for a while," said Chief Bob Gavalier, Austintown Police Department.

Reserve officers are also currently in training in the event more police officers need to be hired. Chief Gavalier said after contacting the Ohio Casino Control Commission he learned that disorderly conduct and thefts were among some of the most common crimes.

Gavalier's major concern at this point, "I think the biggest problem we're going to find out is the traffic problem down there."

Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course is slated to open this fall.


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