Saracen doubles down on safety, adds metal detectors at all entrances

Local News

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Saracen Resort and Casino is doubling down on safety just weeks after a shooting in the parking lot.

The casino announced it bought high tech metal detectors, which will be placed at every entrance.

Chief Market Officer Carlton Saffa explained this security is on top of hundreds of cameras already in use across the property.

“We’re confident that this is a safe floor to play on, one of the safest places to be in Arkansas, but we want people to feel safe,” Saffa said. “It doesn’t matter that we know it’s a safe building, it’s important that our team members and our customers feel safe.”

The metal detectors are made by Evolv Technology and are designed so players heading to the floor don’t have to stop or take anything out of their pockets.

“There’s no bottleneck,” Saffa explained. “We have real time identification as people pass through and there’s a security guard posted with an iPad.”

That identification targets weapons and alerts security guards when someone might be carrying one.

“If I had what appeared to be a weapon, my silhouette would appear immediately on the iPad with a red circle indicating where the possible item was,” Saffa added.

The new security is about peace of mind, he said, especially in the wake of a shooting in the parking lot where a security guard was injured.

Saffa noted, though, that the night that incident happened was also a reminder that the systems the casino already has in place are working.

“The cameras everywhere allowed us to know within minutes who the suspects were,” he said. “I’m proud of that, I’m not proud of what happened.”

He credits surveillance cameras filming in 4K that cover the property and can zoom in to show clear details.

“From the moment you pull onto our land, we’ve got eyes on you,” Saffa said.

The security isn’t lost on customers like William Lind, who said it gives him the peace of mind needed to focus on the games.

“Every which way they got a camera shooting,” Lind said. “You just want to relax and do your thing.”

Saracen staff members say the metal detectors will be installed within the next few weeks.

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