Officers working to keep hotels, motels safe from meth labs - WSMV News 4

Officers working to keep hotels, motels safe from meth labs

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After multiple meth lab busts this year, including an explosion at a motel over the weekend, the Lebanon Police Department is calling for its officers to take preventative measures.

Police have information they want motel and hotel employees to know, including why their businesses are at risk and the warning signs if a customer plans to cook meth in their rooms.

"There's a lot of things I think if they pay attention to and look for and maybe some proactive stuff they can do. Maybe they can figure it out and get these people out or not rent to them in the beginning," said Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen.

So far this year, Bowen says officers have been called to at least 10 meth labs, five of which have been at motels. He says that's a jump from years past.

The worst exploded Saturday night, blowing off the door and wall to room 272 at the Travel Inn, which left behind a costly mess for the owners.

"Number one, because you have the cleanup. Number two, you know, you can't rent - in this case, I think we ended up shutting three rooms down - and then now, in this case, you've got to rebuild this room," Bowen said.

Lebanon police Officer Jeremy Johnson paid a visit to the Executive Inn to help prevent a later call for help.

"It's very disturbing when you see something in the news to think that someone could check into a hotel and bring in the materials that are used and put their own safety at risk as well as the risk of other people," said Executive Inn General Manager Kelly Barnes.

Barnes says this is a welcome visit by Johnson that could lead to even better customer service.

"Great, warm hospitable service is what our staff does, but when we have peace of mind, we can communicate that through our service to our guests to give them peace of mind when they stay here also," she said.

The only two people hurt in Saturday's explosion were the two suspects.

Police say if you suspect a meth lab, do not go near it and call for help.

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