Waco Police aim to cut hotel crime

Posted at 10:41 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 00:01:34-04

Waco has 300 more hotel rooms this year. While that may be a boost for the tourism industry, Hotel owners and managers are hoping that it doesn't increase crime. Tuesday, they were given some of the tools to do so with Waco Police SAFE Unit. 

Waco police invited property managers at local hotels and motels to begin a voluntary three-phase program in order to be certified as crime free lodging.

Waco Police Sgt. Jared Wallace said the department spent ten years prepare the program before launching. The plan is an offshoot of a similar program involving multi-unit housing. 

"We saw the benefits of the Waco Crime-Free Housing program and we wanted to include that in the Waco hospitality industry as well," Wallace said.

Tompeka Campbell, a manager at a Waco motel, attended the Crime-Free Housing program. When extended the invitation to attend the Crime-Free Lodging program she happily accepted. 

"People come and go all the time," Campbell said. With the constant influx of people, comes the opportunity for illicit behavior, "Drug activity and stuff, working in a hotel we get a lot of that."

Sgt. Wallace hopes training, will help management be more vigilant of suspicious behavior recognizing the signs. 

"What we're teaching isn't how to be hotel managers what we're teaching is how to establish a relationship with police."

Once managers complete the training they will be a part of a certified group, receiving updates from police and the crime-free symbol to place on their property. For Campbell, despite the time needed to implement the program, she hopes that will give residents a better nights sleep.

"It's going to be hard, I know, that but you want to go some place where you feel safe and comfortable," Campbell said. 

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All rights reserved.