Police demand return of shift details at Twin River

Police demand return of shift details at Twin River

LINCOLN – Members of Lincoln’s police union have alleged that recent changes at Twin River Casino in Lincoln have made it challenging for officers to effectively respond to incidents there.

Lincoln Det. Kyle Wingate, IBPO Local 435 president, wrote to the Lincoln Town Council this week raising concerns over “an urgent public safety matter that has impacted the response of our town’s police officers to an emergency.”

Historically, the letter states, the Lincoln casino funded detail police officers to cover incidents occurring there, but began eliminating those positions in 2019.

That move put an “unfair burden on the town’s police resources,” said Wingate, noting that the casino is responsible for “a large share of the town’s police activity,” creating a significant challenge for police officers and leaving them unavailable for incidents throughout the rest of town.

In addition to the volume of calls to the casino, the sheer size of the 500,000-square-foot campus “makes it impossible for officers to quickly leave in case of emergency elsewhere,” he said.

Further complicating matters, the Police Department’s radio equipment is inoperable inside Twin River, forcing officers to rely on cell phones to communicate.

By comparison, Wingate said the town of Tiverton mandates its casino to have 24/7 police coverage. That campus is roughly an eighth of the size of Lincoln’s casino campus, both operated by Twin River.

“We find it irresponsible for Twin River to not have adequate police detail coverage and to continually siphon off our town’s police services that should be available to emergencies that occur in other parts of the town of Lincoln,” the letter states.

There were two detail officers stationed at the casino before the shifts were cut, Wingate said. As the casino moves closer to full capacity and begins planning a new, 50,000-square-foot expansion, the police union argues that the need to reinstate two officers at minimum is paramount.

“When only three officers are working, the shift minimum in Lincoln, we’re guaranteed a call to Twin River, he said. "When we get another call, there’s no cops left in Lincoln."

The union submitted the letter to the Town Council, along with members of the Lincoln Police Department and Chief Brian Sullivan, who is acting town administrator.

Comments

The fact that there are only 3 officers on duty at some points in town is crazy! What's even crazier is the fact that 1, 2 or all 3 of those officers may be called to twin river leaving citizens of this town holding the bag and possibly at risk while we subsidize a business that literally makes millions.

While we're at it, I wonder what the response times of the police are when only 3 are working?

There are so many concerning points brought up by this article. It is outrageous that the casino is allowed to not have a detail there and just bleed the towns resources away like this. Its also concerning how Tiverton has been able to properly have a detail at their much smaller casino yet Lincoln has sat by and allowed this detail to be cut. On top of all of this the fact that Lincoln has a minimum manpower of THREE officers if completely unacceptable ESPECIALLY with no detail officers at the casino! This needs to be fixed so the residents of this town as well as the patrons of the casino can be safe and properly covered by the police department. Stop letting a casino dictate what is right and safe for the town!

We are in 2021 why is the radio equipment inoperable inside of Twin River? We just spent millions a few years ago to upgrade the building and the communications equipment there. Lack of proper planning? I see new trucks around town. I see new lots of things. This just doesn’t make sense. If we have an active shooter what’s going to happen? Hold on Sir, let me put my cell phone down before I shoot back! On the three officers on shift; it’s a fiscally conservative town but this move is fiscally irresponsible.

We’re more interested in putting our resources into Parades. Sometimes this town does things backwards. There has to be some common sense here to include being fiscally equitable!

I could be wrong, but I believe the radio equipment issue needs to be corrected by the casino, and not the town. Maybe someone else can shed light on this.

But relationships are a two-way street. When you’re talking about correcting a safety issue and this is large one, there should be a quick solution where the two entities get to the table yesterday. The fix can save lives. It only takes one event for a catastrophe to happen. Hopefully, our new TA realizes this and doesn’t play town hall politics.

We're more interested in putting our resources into parades?
Mr. Picozzi you do realize that the Lincoln Memorial Day Parade is the result of selfless and tireless work by a volunteer parade committee? The parade committee volunteers their time and often their own resources to put on this annual celebration. Many of our local businesses and residents help support the parade by attending our fundraisers. You may have even seen signs around town for our Pasta Supper. Who do you think is cooking the meals and wiping down tables? Although the town is supportive of the parade and assists by providing some resources, the parade only happens as the result of the hard work of the volunteers.

I suppose even more upsetting than your disrespect of the parade committee is the fact that the parade is done to honor the service men and women who gave their lives for our country. If you have an issue with the way the police department operates or the communication infrastructure it uses, have at it. In regard to our parade, the volunteers who put it together, or the fallen soldiers we honor, you are crossing the line.

I never said anything about or intended to disgrace our veterans, fallen soldiers, active military, etc. I fully support all our military, have friends in the military, and even work with active Military so for anyone else to use this venue to drum up support is very weak. Nice try though. Some people need to get their facts straight and I even donated to the Parade and never attended a fundraiser, ask Ted’s paint! Never ate pasta, never took a drink. You want to talk about crossing the line and I’m talking about our town needs to step up and give our Officers what they need to their job effectively especially in emergency situations. Volunteers don’t take credit either they just go about their business no matter what the issue or concern in town is. Hands down self-serving. I am a believer of talking the talk and walking the walk: https://pva.org/. Let’s see how passionate you are about our Veterans.

With that being said, you know what’s so sad about Lincoln is that if you have a mind of your own, provide your perspective about things in town, and don’t follow the machine and their cult like philosophy, their minions attempt to discredit you. They extradite you and say you have an agenda just because you want better for everyone in your town. They do all this online. But when they see you on the street, they turn silent, white, and run like rats.

Mr. Picozzi, you state that some people need to get their facts straight. It was your diatribe on public safety that brought our parade into the discussion. Was it another parade you were referring to when you stated, “we’re more interested in putting our resources into parades”? The Memorial Day Parade has NOTHING to do with staffing issues or communication issues at Twin River but you seemed to find it necessary to lump them together about our town’s priorities. I am merely pointing out that they are not related and for you to imply that our commitment to honoring our soldiers is more of a priority then public safety is disingenuous.
Although you are not a veteran you are an elected official. A member of our school committee I believe. As such I would hope you realize that words matter. So, when you decide to bring the parade into the discussion you run the chance pf striking a nerve. Particularly for those who have strong feelings about what Memorial Day represents. I would also suggest ending posts with statements like, “But when they see you on the street, they turn silent, white, and run like rats” seems rather aggressive for someone who is supposed to represent his constituents. Again, these are your words, not mine.

I’m not your average politician. I totally stand with him/her when they say my words matter. Because they do. My words and my actions matter. There will never be a time when I don’t own them either. Past or present! This is what you get when you have a truly unpretentious person who knows where they’ve been, knows where they’re going, and never forgot where they came from. I deviate from the norm from the typical “game” many politicians play and it feels invigorating. I speak facts and I conduct my school committee business based on facts as well. More facts: I don’t enjoy walking in parades and waving at people. I’m considered a politician and I do feel it’s self-serving. One time, I rode my Harley with my son on the back. I felt like a regular person. It was fun and the kids enjoyed the candy we tossed out.

Aggressive, some think I’m aggressive. This is nothing, they should have seen me in High School I was a train wreck. There’s nothing wrong with a Type A personality. Some people have the notion that politicians should be quiet, passive, and aloof to name a few. Yea that all “looks good” but I’m not in it for an image contest or to make friends. They want to poke at the politician and then they want him/her to hide like a mouse. Furthermore, it’s clear Mr. LincolnVeteran missed the point in my original comment and chose to centralize it. He/she then attempted to rally support from those who saw it his/her way by focusing on; Veterans, Memorial Day Parade, Volunteers, and stating I’m an elected official. These are all hot buttons of society especially now with the current climate out there. All that diversion has nothing to do with my original comments, my opinions, my facts which came from my “real experiences” over the years. He/she keeps ignoring it. Lincoln is a town that needs to get their priorities straight when it come to certain things. Supporting parades and placing resources into any parade and not taking care of those people who keep you safe is catastrophic and irresponsible. But that’s what you get when you ride the fiscally conservative wave. It’s no good. It needs to change to being fiscally equitable. My opinions are based on facts which came from my experiences being a resident, politician, two prior board member stints, one short stint on the budget board, and current school committee member experience.

Mr. LincolnVeteran wants to call me out with the Elected Official comment. Well can Mr. LincolnVeteran name any other Elected Official who actually did anything significant to make our Officers’ jobs easier? Can Mr. LincolnVeteran name any other Elected Official who came out publicly like me advocating for our Officers? Some people should know their role and get their facts straight.

Here we go with another JP tirade.