The Norcross Police Department says about a third of the city’s major crimes are committed in 14 of the city’s hotels and motels. So the city council recently passed a measure requiring hotels to tighten security, among other things.
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Norcross Police Chief Bill Grogan says the ordinance requires hotels to improve lighting, make guests show ID and ensure that surveillance cameras work.
“When you show up to a shooting, like we’ve had in the last few months, and the video isn’t working, that’s a problem,” Grogan says.
The ordinance also limits the amount of time people can stay in hotels. Some residents are concerned that provision — aimed at keeping transient guests from loitering — will instead leave struggling families out in the cold.
“We have families there who are not transient,” says Norcross resident Kathleen Allen, who opposes the ordinance. “These children are not transients. They are trying to stay there at least through the school year so they don’t disrupt their education.”
Grogan says his department is not currently enforcing the ordinance.
“We’re not going to put any family on the street — definitely not – that has a child in school,” he says. “That’s a legitimate reason for them to be staying near their child’s school.”
Grogan says the ordinance makes exceptions for those families. He says there will be a grace period before it’s enforced, where his department will educate hotel managers and guests on the changes.
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