Local Motel Business is Recognized for Being Crime Free - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Motel Business is Recognized for Being Crime Free

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A local business is being honored by the Reno Police Department for being crime free. It's not only a good start to changing the image of downtown, but police say it has also helped reduce crime in some of the neighborhoods.  

Helen Laub was awarded the new status Wednesday afternoon after she finished the Multi-Family Crime Free Certification Program for both her hotels. Laub owns the In Town Motel and Lido Inn in downtown Reno.

She started the first phase of the program back in December 2012 after Reno Police stopped by the motels and asked if the staff would be interested in attending the crime free seminar.

Since the first seminar, Helen has made several upgrades to both motels and because of those upgrades, police say crime calls have dropped dramatically. "The calls for service are almost non-existent compared to what they were and that's good. We're not dealing with the crime problems in the neighborhood," said Police Chief Steve Pitts.

Chief Pitts says a few years ago, that was a different story. "I have a plethora of experiences especially at the Lido stemming from misdemeanors, drinking and disorderly conduct to homicide investigations," said Pitts. 

Reno police and code enforcement have been working with local businesses to find ways to improve properties to deter crime. Chief Pitts says the number of crime-related calls have been reduced by almost 60% after Helen completed the crime free program. The goal is to get as many businesses to be crime free as possible.

The Reno Police Department puts on a crime free class once every quarter. All local business owners and managers are invited to attend the eight-hour seminar. Finishing the course completes phase one of the Crime Free Certification. The second phase is where the department comes out and inspects the property to see if businesses have made the safety improvements in order to be certified.

Helen revamped the security system at the motels by adding new cameras, additional lighting and locks on the windows. More than 40 rooms are also being remodeled as part of the big project. It's costing Helen tens of thousands of dollars, but she says its worth it. "As far as our business it has just brought a nicer clientele and we're crime free," said Laub. "There's a lot of people that have been here for the different events in Reno and then they book in advance and they want to come back with their groups."

Officer Jason Stallcop runs the Community Action Department. He hopes the program is contagious and more businesses join in to make their properties crime free like Helen's. "It could change the whole face of Reno, especially downtown. I think it would invite people to go and come back down here," said Stallcop.

Written by Chloe Beardsley

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