Mayor Nick Sacco talks Casino, Drones, DNA Database for Criminals and Police Body Cameras


“The casino bill passed but it passed under the stipulation that it was gonna be modified,” says Mayor Nicholas Sacco, in addressing recent government matters. “In fact, between the governor, the Assembly and the Senate, there’s gonna be a new bill.

A bill with changes and that’s the one both houses will vote on.

“The one guarantee that the Assembly wanted which I agreed with is that whoever gets the license has to put in within six months a billion dollars for the casino,” Sacco says.

If not, the mayor says we could end up with just a square box with slot machines and that would be the biggest waste.

“With this investment that we’re gonna have in North Jersey, you know that made the bill a lot easier, a lot easier for us to pass,” Sacco says.

“Actually it brings a lot of money in. Atlantic City still gets money from it and that was another bone of contention, they’ll still be receiving money.”

North Jersey will get it and the rest of the money will be spread throughout the state, with some money for the whole county and city.

“Vinnie Prieto would’ve liked more for the local communities but when you’re negotiating you have to finally settle on something,” Sacco says, adding, “Now we have to go to the voter and ask their approval.”

The mayor voted against body cameras for cops because he says there’s no funding.

“They came up with a bogus one, ‘we’ll use money from seizures and the financial seizures are like the federal government is the main source,” Sacco says. “The federal government are the indicators, they’re not giving any more money.”

So there’s no source.

“But we would of cost North Bergen by asking them for $500,000 in the first year. There’s no money for it so I would have to either lay off police or buy body cameras,” Sacco says. “If it were mandated, I would have to buy them, so where would I get the money from.”

If they want body cameras, fund ‘em.

“I don’t think anyone would be against it if you pay for ‘em,” the mayor says. “I’m not against them, just pay for it.”

The DNA Bill is currently waiting for the governor.

“The last time a dissimilar bill, he vetoed it,” Sacco says. “I’m hoping this time it passes. I did modify it somewhat. The first time it was all disorderly persons. Now it’s only disorderly persons who were fingerprinted and that would be a higher crime. It wouldn’t be simple shoplifting.”

Like violence and that would require fingerprinting, and from there — DNA.

“DNA is very simple now. You hand the person a swab. They swab their own cheek, put it in a cup and that’s all it takes,” Sacco says.

“The cost isn’t prohibitive so… I think New York has been very successful; they have a similar bill.”

The Drone Bill was also vetoed last time and the mayor has a feeling it’s going to be vetoed again.

“There’s safeguards for citizens there that law enforcement can only use them under certain conditions,” Sacco says.

They would have to get a warrant.

“If not, if it was an emergency, say a crime was ongoing or taking place right then, they could go in without a warrant,” Sacco says.

And there’s currently drone legislation that would safeguard anyone misusing them.

“Going to close to an airport and there’s federal regulations on this now so I think we have to catch up to the technology,” the mayor says. “ And my bill was one that was trying to catch it up so our civil rights would be protected.”

About The Author

Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time... Jillian enjoys yoga, working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. She also loves to connect with the community, so feel free to say hi if you see her around, shoot her an e-mail... or follow her @JillianRis .

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