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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Concerned citizens conducted a Casino Town Watch at SugarHouse Casino. This was the fourth watch organized by Casino-Free Philadelphia.

The Casino Town Watch began patrolling the parking lots, casino grounds, and the surrounding neighborhood on Saturday afternoon. The patrol met outside at the corner of Frankford and Allen Streets at noon to patrol for one hour and then meet again for a half-hour debriefing.

“We know casinos can’t be trusted to provide security and, unfortunately, we know casinos bring more crime along with a host of other problems. And, especially on a tight budget, the police can’t be everywhere. So we’ve started the Casino Town Watch to help keep the neighborhood safe for both residents and visitors,” said Lily Cavanagh, Organizing Director for Casino-Free Philadelphia.

The Casino Town Watch has been building membership and experience since the first watch on SugarHouse’s opening day.

In response to the recent attacks on patrons, Cavanagh said “Even when you’ve seen the research, the statistics and predictions, when you read a story like this, your heart just sinks. You hate to see it.”

Dan Hajdo, spokesperson and board member for Casino-Free Philadelphia, said, “We’ve been getting a feel for the area, the issues and the challenges involved with a Casino Town Watch. Over the next few months we will be reaching out to the neighborhood more and expanding the program.”

Casino-Free Philadelphia’ is against any casino presence in Philadelphia.

For more information, go to http://www.casinofreephilly.org/.

Reported By Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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