Division of Gaming Enforcement Joins Other Agencies and Casino Industry in Multi-Media Emergency Preparedness Initiative
ATLANTIC CITY — Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Acting Director David Rebuck today announced that the Division of Gaming Enforcement has entered into an agreement with all 11 casinos for the installation and use of a new emergency response infrastructure known as the Mutualink system, which will enhance the safety and security of Atlantic City’s Tourism District.
"As we implement Governor Christie’s plan to renew Atlantic City as a premier international gaming and tourism destination, we are making public safety a top priority,” said Attorney General Dow. “Once deployed, Mutualink will ensure the seamless interoperability of critical communications systems, so that when we need to share information in the heat of an emergency, when lives are at stake, the lines of communication will be open."
"We are committed to preparing Atlantic City to respond to both natural disasters and man-made emergencies, including potential acts of terrorism or criminal activities,” said Acting Director Rebuck. “This system will allow law enforcement, first responders and the casinos to evaluate public safety events in real-time and coordinate a more timely and effective response."
The Division of Gaming Enforcement has been working in conjunction with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security Preparedness and the New Jersey State Police to establish protocols with the casino industry to activate an interoperable system in each casino to allow dispatchers, police, fire and EMS and other public safety agencies to share voice, video, text and files across a secure Internet connection.
This system will dramatically enhance and change the way emergency responders can communicate. Of critical importance, this system will allow law enforcement to connect to the closed circuit television systems of each casino for communication with other government agencies as well as hospitals and other public institutions in the event of a terrorist attack or other public safety event.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security Preparedness, in concert with the New Jersey State Police, brought the Mutualink system to the attention of the Division of Gaming Enforcement when federal grant money for the hardware became available through the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness after the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
"Maximizing safety in Atlantic City requires state and local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to work closely with casino security personnel," said Charles B. McKenna, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. "The establishment of a Mutualink system will make Atlantic City safer by providing enhanced communication, leading to better law enforcement and emergency management response efforts.”
“This is an important link to integrate the Tourism District with Atlantic City’s overall Safe and Clean initiative.” said Tom Gilbert, Commander of the Tourism District. "Mutualink lays down an unprecedented communications backbone, which promotes stronger teamwork and collaboration between public and private partners committed to the safety of Atlantic City and the Tourism District. Timely collection and sharing of information is the cornerstone of proactive policing strategies. Mutualink is a valuable addition to the public safety toolbox and is a great step forward for those who live, visit and work in Atlantic City."
Captain James F. Corbley, Chief of the Casino Gaming Bureau, New Jersey State Police said, “"Mutual Link is an important step in strengthening the public private partnership needed to safeguard Atlantic City's assets."
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security Preparedness will fund the hardware purchase, installation and licensing of the Mutualink system through a federal grant administered through the New Jersey State Police.
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