Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

City Amps up Police Presence in Anticipation of Casino Opening

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM


When big cities ramp up to host the Super Bowl and other similarly gargantuan soirées, local officials are quick to gussy up their downtown areas: more cops, fewer bums, maybe some tasteful origami centerpieces for the park benches. It’s like that final bit of cleanup to impress your date before she shows up, which only works until she watches you eat.

Cleveland won’t be hosting — or winning — a Super Bowl anytime soon, but next month’s launch of the Horseshoe Casino is as big as our game generally gets. Which is why when Cleveland cops spent a day a couple weeks ago cracking down on jaywalkers on Public Square, it was a reasonable leap to assume they were cleaning up the front yard for the gamblers who will soon be descending on our fair city.

In one day, downtown cops distributed 28 jaywalking citations at $150 a pop. They were also looking out for open containers and underage drinking, which apparently has become a problem in the weeks since half a million people rained puke on the streets of downtown for St. Patrick’s Day.

Cleveland Police spokesman Sammy Morris claims the crackdown wasn’t for any specific reason.
“The biggest thing is safety,” he says, noting that multiple jaywalkers have been hit by cars in the past two months. “All you have to do is stand by Ontario on Public Square or anywhere downtown, and you’ll see people just walk out on green lights or running to catch the bus. We’re notoriously lax in adhering to the laws for pedestrians.”

Not anymore, says Morris, who notes that jaywalking enforcement will continue ... on select predetermined dates. Kind of like government holidays that nobody likes.

But it seems the Public Square show of force was more about the casino than Morris lets on: Just a week after the citation frenzy, the city announced protection plans for casino crowds and cop presence to make sure that while you may get screwed inside the casino, nobody screws with you outside. Three dozen officers will be on casino detail, freeing up plenty of good neighborhoods perfect for committing crimes in peace.

“We hope downtown is busy ... but we want you to be safe when you come down,” Morris says. “If you take care of the little things, the bigger things will follow.” That’s sorta what we’re afraid of.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation