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Marietta hotel’s collaboration with cops lead to 86% drop in crime

By Kristal Dixon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

A few cosmetic changes to a Marietta hotel helped the establishment see a significant crime drop, police said.

Homestay Suites at 1051 Canton Road experienced an 86% drop in major crimes — murder, aggravated assault, rape, larceny, burglary and vehicle thefts — and a 23% dip in 911 calls from hotel tenants, the Marietta Police Department said.

The hotel came on the department’s radar a few years ago when Zone 2 Major Steve Campisi noticed a high number of 911 calls coming from the business, said Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy.

Campisi and Police Chief Dan Flynn met with the hotel owner and he agreed to do things such as replacing burned-out light bulbs, adding more lighting and installing cameras to improve visibility around the property. In turn, police officers would step up patrols during times when reports of crime historically spiked in the area and issue criminal trespassing citations to people who were not renting rooms at the hotel, McPhilamy said.

The department measured the crime rates from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019, and during the same time period from 2019 to 2020.

“For us, it represents the same theme that we have been talking about in a lot of our social media posts,” McPhilamy said of the partnership. “When we work together we will always be strong, we will always be safer.”

The hotel owner did not return calls and an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to discuss the initiative. McPhilamy said the police department has done similar initiatives in other areas around the city. Marietta police wanted to get the word out about Homestay Suites with the hopes of encouraging other businesses to partner with the agency if they have concerns about crime on their property.

“There is no magic fix for a situation like this,” he said. “It requires an ongoing, long-term collaborative between the business owner and the police department.”