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Danville Police Department, Sheriff's Office address casino crime concerns

Proposed state legislation would allow casino in Danville

DANVILLE, Va. – A casino in Danville is still anything but a sure bet, but Danville Sheriff Mike Mondul says he and police chief Scott Booth are for a casino, given the jobs it could potentially create.

"Some of these folks, returning citizens that get out of prison or jail and are looking for work and otherwise might commit a crime, this is a pathway for them to maybe do something good," Mondul said.

A casino is estimated to create close to 7,000 jobs.

Last Thursday, Danville City Council members unanimously voted to support proposed state legislation that would allow a casino to be built in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth.

"I can't find any direct evidence that indicates that a casino resort suddenly increases crime rates or jail population," Mondul said.

Danville Police Department Lt. Richard Chivvis says it's too early to say exactly how the police department would handle a casino if one were to open.

"The Danville Police Department is discussing and researching best practices," Chivvis explained.

If more officers would be hired to help has also yet to be decided.

"We are going to develop, and would develop, a robust, proactive, strategic response to whatever unique challenges that legalized gambling would bring to our community," said Chivvis

If the General Assembly passes the proposed legislation during the current session, Danville residents would get to vote in November if they want a casino or not.