Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who Is Staying In Mesa's Hotels & Motels? Me, You or Shady Joe

Crime In Mesa Hotels and Motels?

In 2009 Mesa's police department did a review of crime statistic of 49 short-term stay hotels and motels and according to the study determined that 65% of the 2970 calls for service came from 10 locations. So Monday night the council introduced an ordinance to require guest to prove who they are and requiring the hotels and motels to keep the information for 30 days. Guest will also be required to give their age, so much for little old grandma now being able to say that she is 25 when she really is 75.

Concerns With New Ordinance
  1. The figures used are from 2009. I would like to know have those statistics been updated since then? The economy and economics have changed dramatically since then, what are the results today?
  2. Who has to pay for the record keeping cost? Isn't this kind of like the State of Arizona telling the City of Mesa, how to spend and manage their money? The city of Mesa is always fighting the intrusiveness of Arizona into their affairs, isn't this similar?
  3. Do the police need a search warrant to look at the information? Do the guest have to give their consent for the release of personal information?
The Next Step

What is the next step after this for the City of Mesa? The next most logical step would be to go after crime in Mesa's rental communities. Are they now going to draft an ordinance requiring property managers and landlords to keep the same kind of information and share it with the police? I suspect that there is just as much crime or more going on in our rental communities as there are in Mesa's hotels and motels.

My Thoughts

I'm not real comfortable with this, because I think it leads Mesa and its citizens down a slippery slop of invasion of privacy. Also with the information being gathered it could be very easily end up in the wrong hands and lead to ID theft the guest staying at the hotels and motels.

I understand why this is being done but don't like it. I also applaud the City for working with the hotels and motels and coming up with a solutions that is digestible for both sides.

The Question Though Is?

Is it worth giving up some of your freedoms for the benefit of all? Once you give your freedoms away you can't get them back very easy. Or am I just out in right field with thinking this way?

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