After the death of a beloved store owner, the Atlantic City Merchants Association is demanding justice and enhanced safety measures on the Boardwalk.
The Atlantic City Police Department is planning to deploy more officers within the city, including the Boardwalk which has seen an increase of violence and crime. Some of it from teens.
On April 1, Mehmood Ansari, the 65-year-old owner of City Souvenirs on the Boardwalk died after a run-in with two teens inside his store. One was 12, the other was 15. A knife may have been used in the incident.
Mayoral Candidates, Tom Foley and Tom Forkin, have both pushed for Boardwalk substations and greater police visibility.
Councilman Kaleem Shabazz, who recently angered the Italian Community when he lead efforts to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus said: “We have to make sure that people know that Atlantic City is a place where people get along.”
Mayor Marty Small, best known for his Black-themed, Small Ball, said Atlantic City will not allow a ‘race war.’ Small has a history of using race and skin color when handling challenging situations, or when promoting his Small Ball parties.
Not enough police protection on the Boardwalk. Merchants, many with Asian roots, feel increasingly vulnerable to harassment and shoplifting from aggressive teens.
Council President George Tibbitt claims that Boardwalk problems are from outsiders, not residents of Atlantic City.
Acting Chief Sarkos: We’re hiring 24 additional special law enforcement officers. Most being paid for by the CRDA (Casino Reinvestment Development Authority).
Most believe that the CRDA has authority and primary responsibility for the Tourism District that includes the Boardwalk and Tanger Retail Outlets.
Can social workers help solve the growing crime problem in Atlantic City?
Acting ACPD Chief Sarkos reports that a $740,000 grant was received from the Department of Justice to hire two mental health clinicians. Sarkos: they’ll be engaging the at-risk population on the Boardwalk, the beach and the tourism district.