Jacksonville city leader works to cut down crime at Southside hotels

A Jacksonville city leader says crime at Southside hotels is turning away business and visitors.

District 11 Councilman Danny Becton said, “It has affected local business, local community parks it’s affecting their ability to lease.”

Action News Jax was at the Extended Stay America near Town Center in February when police responded to a fatal shooting.

In June a person, who sources identified as a transgender woman, was shot and killed at the Quality Inn on Dix Ellis Trail, according to police.

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“Businesses bring people from out of town, bring employees from other locations and they want to make sure they can stay in a local hotel that’s safe," Becton said.

Company owners said they avoid staying in the area while doing jobs in Jacksonville.

Mario Delfiacco said, “Paying extra to have something that we feel is safe and secure for ourselves and our employees.”

Becton said he’s working with Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Visit Jacksonville and local hotel owners on an initiative to address the issue.

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The plan could add police resources and increase communication between hotel owners.

“We certainly recognize that whatever comes out of this needs to be a citywide initiative,” Becton said.