JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville’s crime-infested hotels are putting nearby families at risk, according to one City Council member.
Jacksonville native Ashley Stubbs told Action News Jax safety is why she and her dog Lex live in the Baymeadows area.
She said, “I love the neighborhood. It’s very quiet out here. No issues.”
Stubbs also mentioned she knows about the crime that happens just a mile away at the hotels near I-95.
“I need to be safe where I live at and I live alone. I need to know that I’m going to be safe when I come home,” she said.
Action News Jax has reported several shootings at local hotels through 2018 and 2019.
Action News Jax’s Beth Rousseau spoke to Councilman Danny Becton in December.
Just months earlier, police said, a person was shot and killed at the Quality Inn on Dix Ellis Trail.
Becton told Rousseau crime was driving business and visitors away.
He has now created a concrete plan to clean up Jacksonville hotels called the "Crime Free Hotel Program."
“We’re going back to basics,” Becton said.
According to the councilman he has been talking with the owner of Comfort Suites and other hotel owners who admit there’s a problem.
Becton said he has been working with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Northeast Florida chapter of the Florida’s Restaurant and Lodging Association to require room checks, an upfront no-cash and staff training to recognize sex trafficking.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association could likely use the plan in Nassau, St. Johns and other Northeast Florida counties, according to Becton.
Stubbs said she’s on board with the plan.
“I’ll feel more safe that they know who’s coming in and out of that hotel,” she said.
Becton said it’s a multi-tiered plan and he expects the first tier to roll out by September.
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