BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Anne Arundel County Police is promising heavier officer presence after a constant string of crimes near Laurel.
Four hotels are being blamed for hosting a hotbed of drugs, prostitution and violent crimes. Anne Arundel County officials are coming down hard on four hotels in Laurel.
“These hotels are dens of crime, prostitution, drugs, and even murder,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said.
Police have been dealing with almost arrests daily. Laurel area residents have been spending hours cleaning up syringes and empty bottles, blaming low room rates and late night liquor store hours.
The hotels are just yards away from residential neighborhoods and homeowners are worried it might impact property values.
“There are a number of people whose back doors butt to it, and they’re not able to let their kids out to play,” resident Dave Kitchin said.
Police are now launching a massive response called Operation Laurel Safe Passage.
“We’re going to have narcotics officers, we’re going to have vice officers, we’re going to have undercovers, we’re going to have overt, covert, we’re going to have motorcycles, we’re going to have those dogs down here to help,” Chief Timothy Altomare of the Anne Arundel County Police said.
Shazia Shah, the manager of the Knights Inn said she feels the frustration, too.
“You’re constantly asking people to leave, you’re constantly checking people. Sometimes you do feel like you’re being threatened. Not only from the community, but from the people who are coming in,” Shah said.
The biggest threat now to criminals plaguing the community as county police prepare for a crackdown.
Wednesday night, Anne Arundel County Police arrested six people and recovered drugs and a handgun at one of those hotels.
The county is actively working with several families who live in the hotels to find them safer, cleaner places to stay.