Southside Councilman wants to improve safety at area hotels

Jacksonville, FL — Amid concerns about the safety and security of hotels in the Baymeadows area, Jacksonville City Councilman Danny Becton says he wants to fight back.

He has launched a hotel safety and crime initiative to address any negative perception about the safety of area hotels and to come up with solutions for ensuring these facilities are safe.

Becton has met with Southside hotel owners, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Regional Lodging Association, and Visit Jacksonville as part of this initiative. From that meeting, they have formed two working groups- one that works with JSO about resources and whether more should be dedicated to this area, and the other that will look at best practices across the country for safety in hotels and motels. Becton says one model to consider is a local one, where JSO has a task force group for apartment complexes- which could serve as a good concept for hotels and motels.

“We’re inspired to resurrect anything that worked, look at anything new that might help us accommodate reducing crime and changing the perception that people might have in their communities about this sector of our economy,” Becton says.

Becton hopes these working groups can come up with some recommendations and ideas in the next few months, at which point they’ll all come together and look at potential action. That could include more communication among hotels and possibly incentives for them to join initiatives like this, according to Becton.

Hotels along the Southside have seen some incidents of violent crime, including fatal shooting earlier this year at a location on Dix Ellis Trail. While Becton says his focus is his District, he believes this issue is something that should be tackled city-wide.

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