Lincoln police back at Twin River Casino

Lincoln police back at Twin River Casino

Casino accused of withholding crime data

LINCOLN – Members of the Lincoln Police Department have begun to sign up for detail duty again at Twin River Casino after several weeks of refusing to fill the voluntary shifts.

Prior to officers returning to work at the casino, the National Labor Relations Board announced on July 1 that Twin River would be charged with “illegally withholding records of crimes committed against patrons, vendors and other guests” at the Lincoln facility.

A trial on the charges, which the casino denies, is scheduled for Oct. 29.

In March, Local 334 Service Employees International Union, which represents clerks, cashiers, money room, sportsbook and other casino employees, requested a list of break-ins, assaults, burglaries and other criminal conduct occurring over the past three years at the Lincoln casino, including the nature and specific location of each incident.

That data was requested during contract negotiations “to evaluate worker safety at the sprawling facility and adjacent parking lots,” according to a release.

The union alleges that Twin River has acknowledged numerous incidents but is refusing to provide any specifics except when the incidents involve employees.

“Criminals at the casino don’t ask for Twin River IDs before they commit a crime,” said Union President Joe Marciano. “We’ve had assaults, firearm threats, vandalism and theft in the parking lots and even on the casino floor. There have been dozens of incidents over the past three years. It’s time for Twin River to take employee and guest safety seriously.”

Gloria Fitzpatrick, a validator and union business manager, said, “My shift ends at 2 or 3 in the morning. I can’t be walking through the parking lots alone at that hour with what’s been going on. We need to know what areas are most unsafe and why, and then we need to do something.”

Twin River Casino responded to the charges through its legal counsel by denying it has violated any section or provision of the National Labor Relations Act, alleging further that the complaint was not made by the union in good faith, but “with the intent to harass and unduly burden Twin River.”

“(The union) has no legitimate need for a list of all instances of criminal conduct that may have occurred at Twin River since May 1, 2016,” the response states. “Given that the union’s purported interest in said information is based in employee safety, in response to Twin River’s request for a list of all instances in which a union employee was injured in any way as a result of criminal conduct at the facility since May 1, 2016, the union cited zero such instances.”

On July 15, Twin River requested that the complaint by the NLRB be dismissed.

Officers return to work

In early June, The Valley Breeze reported that Lincoln officers had not been working details at the casino after Twin River cut back on its detail hours.

They stopped taking shifts at the casino after Twin River leadership made the decision in May to cut back 16 hours of the detail on Mondays and Tuesdays. Until then, Lincoln police logged 240 hours each week at the Twin River Casino & Hotel, earning time and a half for those shifts.

Town Administrator Joseph Almond said he did not have concerns for public safety. Officers continued to respond to emergency calls at the property, but ceased their regular presence there.

On July 2, Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle told The Breeze that the casino “continues to post shift availability and LPD declines to fill them.”

One week later, Doyle said, “the shifts are now being filled.”

“We are filling the schedule. The signup list was posted and officers are signing up,” said Lincoln Police Capt. Philip Gould last week. Officers have been taking shifts there for the past week.

Twin River is not legally obligated to hire police details to help with security. The casino has an internal security and surveillance team of 130 professionals according to Doyle.

Comments

The casino has not done enough to provide proper protection to the guests.
That’s obvious. They don’t mind taking their money, though.