Saracen Casino installs new weapon detectors to ensure safety

“We feel like for us that the safety of our patrons and our employees are worth that investment,” the director of security said.

PINE BLUFF, Ark — Starting Tuesday, you may notice something different if you visit Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff.

Before you can head straight to the slot machines, you’ll have to walk through metal detectors first. 

It was a major investment and it’s one that’s been on the minds of casino leaders since the beginning, but after the shooting that occurred at the beginning of March in the parking lot, they knew they needed to refocus. 

Past Arkansas State Police Officer turned Saracen Casino Director of Security, Lori Whillock, said they want to make sure everyone feels as safe as possible.

“To me, the investment is a small amount to pay over the long-haul of what we’re expecting to see these systems do,” she said.

On top of the thousands of cameras and dozens of guards that are in and around Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff, a new security system was just installed, according to Whillock.

“These are the same systems that are used in major sports venues across the nation, in Las Vegas. They’re used in major theme parks,” she said.

Whillock said they’re the first in Arkansas to have this weapon detection system. 

The two detectors are on the right and left side of the main entrance and they’ve already proven to be effective in catching weapons once. 

Whillock said it’s all about giving people peace of mind.

“They can come in and have the guest experience that they want, but also feel that they have a safe area to do it,” she said.

Evolv Technology Solutions Engineer, John Riley, installed the casino’s detectors and said it’s meant to be a no-hassle system, so everyday items like your phones and your keys won’t go off when you walk through.

“The idea is that the vast majority of individuals are going to be able to pass right through the system and go about their day. They won’t even realize they went through a system in the first place,” he said.

According to Riley, even for those people who do get stopped, the screening is still painless because of the detectors’ targeted resolution capability. 

“If it were to detect something, it actually tells you where on your body or on your bag that that item was, so the secondary screening process is very quick,” he said.

With just one walk through, the casino hopes their new safety measures ease the minds of everyone who comes to play. 

Author: Mercedes Mackay Published: 5:46 PM CDT May 18, 2021