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Omaha Police meet with Motel 6 about ongoing issues near Westgate neighborhood

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 21, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Earlier this month neighborhood reporter Molly Hudson told you about a Motel 6 that neighbors and police say has been a source of problems in this neighborhood near 84th and Grover. We learned the story prompted a meeting between Motel 6 corporate offices, local management and security and Omaha Police, about what can be done to fix the issues.

    Westgate neighbors like Terry Anderson are seeing wanted change in their neighborhood.

    "Police have been more visible in Westgate," Anderson said.

    Officers patrolling the area around this Motel 6, more often after neighbors told police they want this property cleaned up.

    Omaha Police Captain John Sokolik confirmed on the phone that he was part of this meeting with Motel 6 that included the local owner, the motel’s security and two people from the chain’s corporate office.

    Sokolik says several things were discussed, like cleaning up the exterior of the building, ensuring all guests must pay to stay and ways to reduce 911 calls to the motel.

    That last one is an issue neighbors and OPD have mentioned several times.

    So, Reporter Molly Hudson filed a records request to see just how often police are called here. And here's what Hudson found, since 2021, hundreds of calls, 24 pages of logs. In just the first 5 months of this year? 130 calls.

    The types of calls vary, from a carjacking, 911 hang-up, theft, and trespassing to a wanted felon and others.

    "It's nothing new but it is going to take an effort by a lot of levels to get it back to a good situation in the neighborhood,” Anderson said.

    Hudson reached out to the local franchise owner to ask about the meeting with police and what it plans to do but has not heard back.

    A spokesperson for Motel 6 shared this statement:

    “Our Safety & Security and Brand Performance teams continue to work closely with the Omaha Police Department and this Motel 6 franchise owner to ensure ongoing dialogue so that any concerns may be addressed quickly and the hotel is a safe and welcoming place for all guests, team members, and the community. We hold ourselves and our franchisees to the highest standards of safety and are committed to being a partner to local law enforcement and helping address community crime or violence in any way we can.” – A Motel 6 Spokesperson

    The exterior of the building was discussed, neighbors want to see trash picked up and windows fixed.

    "Fixing those things would go a long way towards the overall uplifting of the facility and therefore the neighborhood," Anderson said.

    Captain Sokolik did tell Hudson, that the Motel 6 is doing its part to be a good neighbor. But neighbors like Anderson know it will take time.

    "I think it gives some hope to those who have really been, to put it one way, riled up in the last month or two," Anderson said.