Being reactive is easy. Being proactive, however, is harder because it requires thinking about what could happen —  and taking steps to prevent something negative. With that thought, we would like to give a huge shout-out of gratitude to the Westlake Police Department. As our reporter Michael Sangiacomo reported last week, the Westlake police are being incredibly proactive when it comes to crime at two area motels located right off Interstate 90. The Red Roof Inn, 29595 Clemens Road, and the Super 8 motel, 25200 Sperry Drive, together have generated some 120 incidents ranging from drug arrests to prostitution since January.

Westlake Capt. Jerry Vogel is justifiably not apologetic about the police presence at the two motels. “We don’t want people to think they are an easy place to stop and make drug deals or engage in prostitution,” he told Sangiacomo. “We do everything to discourage that way of thinking, including reporting the incidents to the media.”

His transparency is admirable, as is his logic. While other communities discourage releasing negative information to “protect” a city’s reputation, Vogel sees reporting the arrests as discouraging criminals from using Westlake for illegal activities. The officers also routinely check internet sites that might signal prostitution, check motel parking lots, check license plates and talk to people.

Bravo.

We also want to give a shout out to the manager of the Super 8, who encourages the police presence. Manager Chris Boyas notes that it helps ensure guests are safe. And if he sees something suspicious, he is instantly on the phone to police. “We work with the police to guarantee that there is no criminal activity at the motel,” Boyas said.

This combination of forces works to one goal: the safety of those visiting Westlake and the surrounding businesses, including the popular shopping area Crocker Park, located just on the other side of the interstate.

A quote from Vogel seems to say it all: “I want people to know if they come to our city intending to commit a crime that we will be out there looking for them.”

Westlake residents should be very proud of their police, who are truly taking the phrase “protect and serve” to its ultimate level.

Thank you.

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