The popular hotel chain, Motel 6, has recently decided to partner with the police to violate the rights of their guests. Without the consent of the guest, or even informing them whatsoever, Motel 6 employees will now turn over the guest information to the police, who will then run a background check on the subject. According to the Providence Journal:
WARWICK, R.I. — City police have arrested four people staying at the Motel 6 on Jefferson Boulevard as a result of the hotel chain’s agreement to provide police with a daily guest list, Mayor Scott Avedisian said Tuesday. The names of Motel 6 guests, which police then check for outstanding warrants, is one of five steps Motel 6 corporate managers agreed to take in response to a string of high-profile incidents and concerns the establishment was becoming a haven for passing criminals.
The other measures listed in an agreement Motel 6 executives signed Tuesday include raising the minimum age to rent a room from 18 years old to 21, hiring a police detail every night, sharing their national “do not rent list” with police and conducting regular training, including on how to spot human trafficking. “We know everyone who is staying in the hotel tonight,” Avedisian said in a phone interview after a meeting with Motel 6 executives that also included Warwick police chief Col. Stephen M. McCartney and Seekonk, Mass., Town Administrator Shawn E. Cadime.
As of now, guests who check-in at Warwick’s Motel 6 will not be told their names are on a list that goes to the police station every night. Alerting motel guests that local police know their whereabouts “is not a normal process of our check-in,” said Victor Glover, a vice president of safety and security for G6 Hospitality, the parent company for Motel 6. “I don’t know that we have any plans of instituting that as we move forward.” Glover said that, generally, if a local police department wants a property’s guest list, Motel 6 makes it available. Glover would not say, however, if the Motel 6 brand has had similar problems at other locations, only that “there are times that issues come up.”
Read entire article here.
When I read the insane, ridiculous, and egregious actions of police officers that happen each day, rarely am I dumbfounded by something police do these days. Even the most recent event where officers pulled over this guy with their BEARCAT (that’s an armored vehicle, FYI), I wasn’t surprised. Yet, when I read the words of the Motel 6 executives above, I was dumbfounded.
This was agreement between police and Motel 6 executives was put in motion by two men who were charged with sex trafficking of a child who allegedly had being taken to Motel 6 locations in Warwick and Seekonk (this from the story linked above). Now forcing someone to work for you, sex trade or otherwise, is wrong and I applaud Motel 6 executives for attempting to correct the issue at hand, but this is a horrible way to go about it. If the company wants to hire their own guards, create their own ‘do not rent list’ and adapt new policies, then so be it, but to subject each person who stays on the property to a background check is absurd.
These background checks will most likely be a huge waste of time, as word will spread into the streets that Motel 6 is not a place you should go, and anyone who does check in will know to not have a warrant. Sure, maybe that’s the goal for the company, but the unintended consequence could cost them business. I highly doubt that all, or even 10%, of the 1,100 Motel 6’s in North America have a huge sex trafficking problem. I doubt many of them have real “major” crime issues at all. Yet, Motel 6 is allowing the police to run the names of all their guests, regardless of probable cause, incident, or reasoning.
Even if you feel that these exact locations need some sort of preventative measure like this, shouldn’t the customer be notified that their name will be given to the police? If the goal of Motel 6 is to remove unwanted persons from their property, then merely stating that your name is going to be given to the police would probably achieve this. Only when the government is involved can doing something like giving private information to someone without their consent be allowed. If you or I were running a business and giving the information to credit card companies, we’d be arrested. When the police do it, they make the arrest.
The executives did not say whether or not this policy would go on to the other locations outside of Rhode Island but they did mention that it’s common practice for hotels to provide their guest list to police when asked. I learned this when Pete and I caught a Greenfield Police officer obtaining the guest list from the hotel my family was staying at without a warrant. So this can happen already, but to have the business speed up the process before seeking solutions from within, is sad to say the least.
Consider this your warning. When staying in hotels, especially corporate ones, you might be giving up more than a couple bucks to rest your head. You might lose your freedom. Tell us your thoughts below or feel free to leave a message (or review) for Motel 6 on their Facebook Page.
CopBlock Information, Tips, Tactics, Gear, Graphics and more; click graphic