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Provo police join motel owners to rid city of troubled tenants

By Sarah Dallof | Posted - Sep. 22, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.


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PROVO -- A new collaboration between Provo police and the owners of six motels is helping clean up crime in the city.

The Provo police had a simple task on their hands: get the troublemakers and the drug dealers out of the motels, and soon. The effort was to clean up the motels and to provide service to quality clientele.

About a year ago, City Center Motel began a massive renovation project, with new floors, new paint and a new clientele.

"There were a lot of problems with drugs when they first started," said manager Lyle Leifson. "We kicked everyone out and had to go through and clean out all the rooms."

Leifson said they took a no tolerance approach. Once a tenant was identified as a problem renter, they weren't welcome anymore. And word spread quickly after the arrest of one drug dealer.


We told him to let all his buddies know at the jail that we're not going to tolerate that here anymore. That pretty much wiped it out. After that, we started getting a much better clientele.

–Lyle Leifson


"We told him to let all his buddies know at the jail that we're not going to tolerate that here anymore," Leifson said. "That pretty much wiped it out. After that, we started getting a much better clientele."

Now, City Center Motel and the owners of the five other downtown motels are getting a new typ of support from the Provo Police Department. Officers went door-to-door Thursday with guests looking for individuals with outstanding warrants.

Officers made some arrests, but more importantly, they got their message out.

"At the end of the day, we've got to clean them up," said Chief Rick Gregory of the Provo Police Department. "We've got to stop the calls for service that are indicating that we have a quality of life issue."

City Center Motel is thrilled about the new approach. The owners of the motel also have a motel in California and a similar police partnership in that state benefited their business. And now they're hopeful things will only get better in Provo.

"It's been a rough year, but much better than it was before," Leifson said. "Will it be worth it? Definitely."

Email: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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