Amidst crime-ridden extended-stay motels on Boulder Highway, one manages to improve
On a southeast section of Boulder Highway there are three large extended-stay motels, the Siena Suites, the Suites, and the Sportsman’s Royal Manor.
According to analysis of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department data by the Las Vegas Review Journal, approximately 44,000 calls for service and patrols have been recorded at these motels over the past five years.
Las Vegas police have used what they call “hot spot” policing, a method where they constantly patrol an area.
Police presence on Boulder Highway was greater than nearly any other private business in Metro’s jurisdiction, including the largest casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
The data was collected from 2017 to 2021 and revealed that of the three, Sportsman’s Royal Manor was the one that managed to reduce their calls to the police and their police presence by investing in their security.
The Sportsman’s could now be considered safer than other motels.
“If you have a police officer who spends five to 15 minutes in an area, he might do a car stop in front of a complex that had the lights on, he’s finished the car stop and he’s leaving, the analyzes will show that the crime won’t be happening in this area for a little while,” said Capt. Reggie Rader of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
But why do criminals find motels appealing?
Rader said it has a lot to do with how condensed the area can be, noting that in a single complex there can be 1,000 units and multiple people in each unit. “It’s either the person renting it, or the person inviting someone to come, or it’s what we call a ‘comfort space’. There’s something about the location or the layout that makes people feel comfortable committing crimes there,” he said.
Most of the calls in the area are nuisance calls, Rader said, usually domestic disputes or disputes between neighbors.
“People who live there long or short term have a right to feel safe in their home because it’s their home right now,” he said.
Some have criticized the distribution of police in the Las Vegas Valley when so many people patrol this area of Boulder Highway. Rader said that due to the condensed population, he thinks proportionally they’re being used “adequately.”
“We go to the police where people want us. So if you live in a residential area and there are problems, please call the police,” he said.
Rader also addressed issues of prostitution in the area and police resistance in an area like Boulder Highway.
“In a complex like this, passing on the street, you don’t have a good indication of what is going on. There are a lot of walls, there are a lot of barriers. So, we encourage our officers. …to get out of their car and walk around. What might be recorded as directed patrol activity might not have any enforcement effort, it might just be a presence,” Rader said, noting an officer who plays regularly playing football with children in the area.
But while the focus remains on Boulder Highway, Rader pointed out that crime happens everywhere.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, if you’re in Summerlin, if you’re in Henderson, if you’re on the Strip, if you’re on Boulder Highway, you have to be aware of your surroundings because crime could happen anywhere. where,” he said.
Sportsman’s Royal Manor has seen a decrease in crime on its property, and they have turned the situation around by investing in private security.
Erin Ben-Samochan, the property’s executive director, explains that their residents have changed: “Right now we’re seeing more long-stay residents, we’re seeing more families making it their home, we’re seeing people who might be between two units or between apartments, and they just want a short-term furnished apartment.”
She has been working there for years. Years ago, Clark County threatened to shut down the property following the 2014 murder of a Nevada National Guard member and years of crime.
“From personal experience, I would say the region has had its challenges, but I never felt unsafe at Sportsman. Even during that time,” she said.
“People want, deep down, to feel good where they live. And to do that you have to be inclusive, you have to go out and interact with people as a security company, we take care of ourselves and we let’s make sure we have the right kind of guard with the right kind of temperament, with the right kind of compassion,” said Earl White of Trinity Security.
He said they are still communicating with Las Vegas police to coordinate security and prevention efforts. To be on the property, he said they have to know who the person is and they have to show ID, so White’s teams will interview the trespassers, or engage, and they’ll either be OK to stay, or be evicted from the property.
“I don’t think it’s a high crime area anymore,” White said.