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Falls May Require Hotel Registration Book

With an eye on added safety and support for its police department, the Falls Township Supervisors are considering an ordinance that would require hotel occupants to show valid photo identification prior to renting a room.

The Supervisors unanimously voted to authorize advertisement of the ordinance during its February meeting. It will be considered during the Board’s March 21 meeting following discussion and public comment. If adopted, the Township’s eight hotels would be required to maintain a hotel registration book and keep records available and able to be turned over to police under court order or subpoena for three years.

Bensalem Township has had a similar ordinance in place for three years. It has proven successful in limiting transients of motels and hotels. Township attorney Lauren Gallagher said municipalities have seen a decrease in the number of raucous parties in hotel rooms and are seeing fewer instances of numerous people staying in one room.

The ordinance would require everyone staying in the hotel to provide valid photo ID.

Supervisors Chairman Bob Harvie said he met recently with many of the local hotel owners.

“They really seemed very supportive of it,” Harvie said.

The ordinance would help police officers in tracking down suspects much easier, Harvie said, referencing an instance several years ago, involving the murder of a woman in a hotel room. The hotel had no record of the person who had been staying with her.

“It made the job of the police department that much harder,” he said. “This would be something that would help our officers.”

 

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