Newark Officials Insist Fans Will Be Safe For Devils Playoff Game [POLL]
Some fans heading to the Devils/Rangers hockey playoff game at the Prudential Center in Newark tomorrow night say they feel a bit nervous, after several teens were arrested a few weeks ago for assaulting concert-goers at the venue following a Red Hot Chili Peppers show.
Newark officials insist they have nothing to worry about.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker says there have only been 2 incidents at the arena in Newark in 5 years - it's a safety record that's as good as - if not better than -other arenas around the country, and "we have literally dozens of police officers out there- undercover, homeland security personnel - as well as a lot of technology- from cameras to other things to keep people safe…we've had virtually no incidents over the past 5 years …but the recent problem at the Prudential center has suddenly raised the specter of fear-but fear that is irrational if you think that millions and millions of people have come to our arena with not even a stumble or fall."
He says "our whole downtown now is thriving - the first two new hotels in 4 years - the first new office tower going up in 20 years… and our residential population is coming back with a lot of residential being built in and around our downtown - and that's because they're not only safe and secure, but we also have a lot of great amenities now- bars, restaurants, cultural events, the museum - and so Newark is a downtown that is now really worthy of New Jersey's pride."
Booker adds he's hoping that "when people come to this great playoff game they not only enjoy the game, but they take time to enjoy restaurants in the Ironbound- new bars and restaurants…when we have packed events and there's people coming from everywhere, we really turn it up…when we have events like ultimate fighting and other things, you often get that testosterone running - we're taking extra precautionary efforts…with a rivalry this deep sometimes it arouses the lesser angels of those who come to view it- we're going to make sure that we a lot of folks out there to keep the peace."
Sam DeMaio, the Newark Police Director- says "we're going to have mounted patrols down at the arena, we're going to have a number of plain clothes officers down there as well that are going to be mixing and mingling in with the crowd to identify problems before they happen - you know if they see a group of people that look like they're going to get into a fight - there's going to be a problem that's coming- they'll be able to notify the command post and they'll send uniformed officers to handle it before it takes place."
He adds fans should feel confident that "they're certainly going to be in a very secure area- there's going to be a very high police presence…the message is Newark is as safe a place to come as any other major city in this country…I think that's a credit to the Newark police department, and the men and women that are out there providing the security."