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Amid crime-ridden extended stay motels on Boulder Highway, one manages to improve

Sportsman’s Royal Manor
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On a southeastern section of Boulder Highway, there are three major extended stay motels, the Siena Suites, The Suites and Sportsman’s Royal Manor.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal’s analysis of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department data, roughly 44,000 service calls and patrols were recorded at those motels in the past five years.

Las Vegas police used what they call “hot spot” policing, a method where they constantly patrol an area.

The police presence on Boulder Highway was greater than almost every other private business in Metro’s jurisdiction, including the Las Vegas Strip’s largest casino-resorts.

The data was collected from 2017 to 2021, and it found that between all three, Sportsman’s Royal Manor was the one that managed to lower their police calls and police presence by investing in their security.

Sportsman’s could now be considered safer than the other motels.

"If you have a police officer spend five to 15 minutes in an area, they could do a car stop in front of a complex their lights were on, they finished the car stop, and they drive off, analytics will show that crime will not occur in that area for a little while," said Capt. Reggie Rader with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

But why do criminals find motels attractive?

Rader said it has a lot to do with how condensed the area can be, noting in just one complex, there can be 1,000 units, and multiple people to each unit. "It's either the person renting it or the person inviting someone to come there, or it's what we call a 'comfort space.' There's something about the geographical location or the setup that makes people feel comfortable committing crime there," he said.

Most of the calls to the area are nuisance calls, Rader said, typically domestic arguments or neighbor-to-neighbor arguments. 

"The individuals that are living there long term or short term, they have a right to feel safe in their homes, because that's their home for the time being," he said. 

Some have criticized the distribution of police officers throughout the Las Vegas Valley while so many are patrolling this area of Boulder Highway. Rader said due to the condensed population, he thinks, proportionately, they're being used "adequately."

"We're going to police where the people want us. So, if you live in a residential neighborhood, and there's issues going on, please call the police," he said.

Rader also discussed topics of prostitution in the area, and resistance of police in an area like Boulder Highway.

"In a complex such as these, driving by on the street, you don't get a good indication of what's going on. There's a lot of walls, there's a lot of barriers. So, we encourage our officers ... to get out of their car and walk around. What might be logged as a directed patrol activity could have zero enforcement effort at all, it could just be a presence," Rader said, noting an officer who regularly plays football with kids in the area. 

But while a big focus remains on Boulder Highway, Rader emphasized crime happens everywhere.

"No matter where you're at, if you're in Summerlin, if you're in Henderson, if you're on the Strip, if you're on Boulder Highway, you need to be aware of your surroundings, because crime could occur anywhere," he said.

Sportsman's Royal Manor has seen a decrease in crime on their property, and they turned it around by investing in private security.

Erin Ben-Samochan, the property's executive manager, says their residents have changed: "Currently, we see more long-term stay residents, we see more families who are making it their home, we see people that might be in between housing or in between apartments, and they just want a short term furnished apartment."

She's worked there for years. Years ago, Clark County threatened to shut the property down following the murder of a Nevada National Guard member in 2014 and years of crime. 

"For my personal experience, I would say that the area has had its challenges, but I never felt unsafe at Sportsman's. Even during that time," she said. 

"People want to, at heart, feel good about where they live. And to do that, you have to be inclusive, you have to go out and interact with the people as a security company, we take careful pains and making sure we have the right type of guard with the right type of temperament, with the right type of compassion," said Earl White with Trinity Security.

He said they always communicate with Las Vegas police to coordinate safety and prevention efforts. To be on the property, he said they need to know who the person is and they need to show identification, so White's teams will question trespassers, or engage, and they'll either be OK to stay or be kicked off property. 

"I don't think it's a high crime area anymore," said White.

Erin Ben-Samochan, executive manager, Sportsman’s Royal Manor; Reggie Rader, former captain of the southeast area command, currently captain of the organizational development bureau, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; Earl White, director of security, Trinity Security

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Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.