Worcester chief questions likely slots parlor site
WORCESTER (AP) — The area of Worcester where developers have proposed building a slots parlor has existing traffic and crime problems that make unsuitable for the project, the city’s police chief wrote in a report to the city manager.
A developer has proposed a slots parlor at the vacant 14-acre Wyman-Gordon industrial property. Prostitution, drug dealing and panhandling are already problems in the neighborhood.
“This is a densely populated, urban neighborhood with considerable challenges,” Chief Gary Gemme wrote in the report. “To reiterate, the proposed location for a slot parlor in the City of Worcester creates of number of law enforcement challenges.”
The report based on analysis of crime statistics in the city was sent to City Manager Michael O’Brien.
The Telegram & Gazette obtained a copy of the report dated April 29. Gemme confirmed its authenticity Sunday.
Under state law, if approved, the development would be the only slots parlor in the state. The developer says it would provide hundreds of jobs and generate millions of dollars in revenue.
The city does not currently have the personnel to provide an additional law enforcement presence in the area, the chief said. He said it would cost the gambling facility almost $2.4 million per year to provide proper police coverage in the area.
“Without these additional resources ... there is tremendous potential for irreversible erosion in the quality of life in this part of the city,” the chief wrote.
With an expected 2 million visits per year and 3,000 motor vehicle trips per day to the slots parlor, police foresee an already-problematic traffic area getting worse.
“These crime data numbers added to an area that already has a disproportionate amount of crime, disorder and motor vehicle accidents has the potential to further exacerbate the existing neighborhood problems,” Gemme wrote.
Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com