Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Dec. 10, 2019

Linkedin Pinterest

East Vancouver Motel 6 visited by police hundreds of times each year

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: November 9, 2019, 6:05am
3 Photos
Abandoned shopping carts are seen here in front of the Motel 6 on Chkalov Drive. According to data provided by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, police, firefighters and medics were dispatched to 2,693 calls for service at Motel 6 in the past five years. A total of 2,052 calls were assigned to the Vancouver Police Department. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian)
Abandoned shopping carts are seen here in front of the Motel 6 on Chkalov Drive. According to data provided by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, police, firefighters and medics were dispatched to 2,693 calls for service at Motel 6 in the past five years. A total of 2,052 calls were assigned to the Vancouver Police Department. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Last summer, SWAT officers surrounded the entrance of Motel 6 on Chkalov Drive in Vancouver as employees and customers at a pot shop across the street looked on.

Alisha Gonzales, an employee at The Herbery, said she watched as police arrested a young man and then escorted two children from the building. She characterized the raid as traumatizing but rare in its intensity. However, Gonzales said police patrol the motel daily, circling the area. Officers respond directly to the business several times a week, she said.

“It’s a problem. I wouldn’t go as far as calling what goes on destructive, but it definitely hurts our flow of customers,” Gonzales said. “We’ve had a few times where people stayed in the store until things settled down outside.”

According to data provided by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, police, firefighters and medics were dispatched to 2,693 calls for service at Motel 6 in the past five years. A total of 2,052 calls were assigned to the Vancouver Police Department.

There are other motels in Clark County with less than desirable reputations, including the Value Motel off Highway 99. But Motel 6 shows up as much, if not more, than its competitor in police reports and court records.

Top five calls-for-service locations in 2018

Vancouver Police Department:

1. PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center

2. Walmart, 221 N.E. 104th Ave

3. Vancouver Mall

4. Springfield Meadows Apartments

5. Vancouver Plaza

Clark County Sheriff’s Office:

1. Walmart, 9000 N.E. Highway 99.

2. Orchards Highlands Neighborhood Park

3. Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center

4. Prairie High School (CCSO said most calls are around the school, not at it)

5. Fred Meyer, 7700 N.E. Highway 99

Calls to Motel 6 were referred to a company spokesperson who noted in an email that the number of calls to the business has declined in recent years after steps it has taken to address the issue.

Vancouver police respond to an array of situations at the motel, said spokeswoman Kim Kapp, partly due to its location. “Motels tend to be built near major transportation access points which can impact crime rates and the variety of calls for service that can occur,” Kapp said.

Motel 6 opened its Chkalov Drive location in October 2007, according to The Columbian archives. Its next mention in the newspaper came in August 2009, when a 19-year-old man was lured there by a woman and robbed of his cash and other belongings at knifepoint. Crime-related articles have continued to be published through the years, increasing in frequency over time, according to the archives.

Margaret Milem, co-chair of the Fircrest Neighborhood Association, where Motel 6 is located, said area residents understand that some motel guests are struggling through serious challenges that may lead to interventions by police and firefighters. She said none of those events seem to “spill over” into the rest of the neighborhood.

Carla Parsons lives near the motel. She said trash, improperly discarded needles and noise are the biggest problems she experiences living near the business. She said there are people coming and going frequently late at night, and police have made more than a few appearances.

“It’s very busy,” Parsons said. “I’ve called the police a couple times about the noise.”

The most common calls for service at Motel 6 over the past five years were for premise checks, according to the data. Kapp said those calls can involve checking for unsecured doors or signs of criminal activity. The next most frequent responses were for unwanted people, civil standbys, suicidal threats and death investigations. There were 115 death investigations in five years.

People in the area said they are unsure if there are any remedies for the situation. Parsons said she’ll likely move some time in the future. Gonzales, The Herbery employee, said the motel is responsible for the issues and should lead the charge on making changes.

Holding businesses or physical locations accountable for soliciting or encouraging criminal activity last came up among Vancouver officials in 2015, said Johnathan Young, acting city attorney. At that time, the city considered adopting a chronic nuisance ordinance.

“At the end of the day, we took that to (Vancouver) City Council for consideration, and the business community and citizens came forward and said it was not a tool that they wanted to see in our local laws,” Young said.

A Motel 6 spokesperson wrote in an email that the company has worked with the owner and location to implement stricter policies and procedures, “which have improved quality performance, operations, and reduced calls to authorities significantly in the last two years.”

The motel had 677 and 525 calls for service in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The following two years garnered 474 and 426 calls, according to the dispatch data. There were 258 calls for the first half of this year.

“We are confident that this positive progress will continue in the future,” the spokesperson said.

Tags
 
East Vancouver
Loading...