Local

Report: Emergency Radios Failing Inside Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opens Monday. (Credit: CBS)

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DES PLAINES, Ill. (CBS) — When it comes to safety and security, the city of Des Plaines does not want to gamble on the communications equipment at the new Rivers Casino.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the casino opened in July at River Road and Devon Avenue, and it turns out that the building is so reinforced with steel and other construction elements that police and fire radio signals do not transmit properly, according to the Daily Herald.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Des Plaines police Deputy Chief Mike Kozek tells the Daily Herald that 98 percent of the time, officers responding to calls inside of the casino cannot receive messages from their dispatchers, although they can transmit.

The Des Plaines Fire Department has trouble both transmitting and receiving signals in the casino, the Daily Herald reports.

Since the casino opened, there have been nearly 500 calls to police, and nearly 100 calls to the fire department for ambulances and other emergencies, the Daily Herald reported.

In one of the most high-profile incidents, Bears wide receiver Devin Hester was slapped in the back of the head as he waited in line for a cashier at the casino. A suspect, Daniel G. Rago, 52, was later charged in the October incident and pleaded guilty last week.

The City of Des Plaines will split the $49,000 cost with the casino to fix the radio function problem, the newspaper reported.