City of Independence, Missouri

Independence expands hotel/motel video surveillance ordinance

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Earlier this year, the Independence City Council identified public safety as a key goal for the growth and development of the City. Tonight, they approved an ordinance amending Chapter 5, pertaining to business licenses, adding hotels/motels to the business types required to install and maintain video surveillance systems. 

“I am proud to have championed this ordinance for the City of Independence,” 2nd District Councilmember Curt Dougherty said. “By collaborating with the Hotel & Lodging Alliance, the City’s Tourism Department and the Police Department we are working to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This was the logical next step after our changes to Ordinance No. 18751 over the summer and another piece of the long-term strategy we are working to address the perception of public safety.”

The City worked with the Hotel & Lodging Alliance to ensure the ordinance would be adopted to the fullest effect. Independence hotels and motels have until July 1, 2018, to install or update video surveillance systems that comply with the City’s ordinance, which includes maintaining video footage for no less than seven days. 

“By adding hotels and motels to the businesses required to install video surveillance, we are giving law enforcement another tool to combat crime,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “We are also showing citizens and visitors we are committed to working with our businesses to continue to improve the safety of this community.” 

“The Police Department has identified hotels and motels with high service call volumes, many of which include parking lot thefts,” Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey said. “The video evidence these cameras provide can make or break a case, giving our officers the information they need to help solve these crimes.”

This ordinance follows Ordinance No. 18751, which was adopted in June to promote lodging industry best practices and hold all lodging establishments accountable for the legitimate operation of their businesses while providing a positive experience for guests. This includes keeping a hotel registry, requiring a valid personal ID upon check-in, and that a room not be rented more than two times in a 24-hour period.