College Park Motels, Gangs, Gunshots and Prostitution

A motel in College Park

Recently, I came across a discussion on the issue of public safety around numerous motels in College Park. This came after a 20 year old Lanham resident was shot dead in the early Sunday morning. The Police report says, a fight between two groups broke out in the parking lot of the hotel, and the victim was shot during the confrontation. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The incident adds more problems to other crime related issues that our hotels and motels are having in the city. In the past I’ve heard complaints from residents on prostitution in and around some motels along Route 1. Some residents told me that prostitution problem often spills over to the nearby residential houses.

Police is saying Sunday’s unfortunate incident was gang related. Could these gangs be involved in other property related crimes such as auto thefts and thefts from vehicles that we see all the time?

In terms of public safety, someone pointed out to me motels pose more problems than hotels. Motels have open access to their rooms, whereas hotels don’t have that; all residents must go through the main security. Open access to rooms can potentially invite more crime.

While there have been talks to redevelop these hotels and motels on Route 1, we should do everything to improve public safety surrounding these motels. As investigations continue in last Sunday;s shooting we’ll be working with our staff and police to that direction.

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1 Comment to “College Park Motels, Gangs, Gunshots and Prostitution”

  1. By anon, February 27, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    I can’t help but think that the blight, run-down properties and preponderance of shady looking buildings and motels that litter our city somehow contribute to the public safety issues we keep facing.

    Developed and occupied properties mean people and foot traffic and observant eyes where there currently aren’t any. More eyes on the streets means lower crime. I don’t think the solution here is to raze or get rid of these businesses entirely, but it seems that there is very little incentive for business and property owners in this city to keep their commercial establishments and dwellings looking nice and respectable.

    Take, for instance, the abandoned restaurant in a run down building on Baltimore Avenue about 50-75 yards from City Hall. If the city doesn’t care that a building that ugly and run down is sitting abandoned and dilapidated in the downtown area, I am not shocked when abandoned plots, shady motels and trash continue to bring down the appearance of our city everywhere else. Perception matters. Appearance matters. Details matter. I wish more people – homeowners, renters, business owners and elected officials would take pride in our city to make sure that these things are addressed. I don’t expect rundown buildings and abandoned plots to get bulldozed and beautiful developments to take their place overnight, but I would love to see the city increase efforts to pick up trash and force deadbeat property owners to at least not hurt the city’s appearance by keeping their properties looking respectable. Improving College Park has to start somewhere. If the city were as feverish about enforcing aesthetics as it is parking and silly fees, this place would look like Bethesda.

    Thanks for your work on this blog in bringing attention to these issues and I’ll keep crossing my fingers for small signs of progress.