An expanded police substation is scheduled to open this summer in Arundel Mills mall, the site of a proposed slots parlor, Anne Arundel County officials announced Wednesday.
Community relations staff, bike patrol officers and civilian police reserve officers, who are now spread over the department's four districts, will be assigned to the office, the police chief, Col. James Teare Sr., said at a news conference at the mall. The 2,000-square foot space - which is being lent to the county for free - will replace a smaller office that police use in the mall.
While additional officers will not initially be assigned to patrol the mall area, more officers could be stationed in the area if slots were approved for the site, County Executive John R. Leopold said.
Council members and nearby residents have expressed concerns about a possible increase in crime if a casino is built at the mall. Councilman Daryl D. Jones, who represents the area, said the substation was an important first step, but more officers would be needed if a slots parlor were to be approved.
Baltimore-based developer Cordish Cos. has placed a bid to build a billion-dollar entertainment complex at Arundel Mills, which would include 4,750 slot machines, the most allowed by the state.
The council could vote as early as Monday on a bill that would allow slots in the county.