By Trey Rusk
While traveling recently, my wife and I checked into a 4 star chain hotel. The price was fair because it was mid week and the amenities such as free parking, indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, managers 2 hour evening bar free for guests and free hot breakfast with newspaper made it a good bargain.
I get up early. I proceeded downstairs to get some coffee and read the paper. When I entered the breakfast area I saw a cop drinking coffee and eating a waffle. He was staring at his cell phone and as I walked by, he asked, "Where do you work?" I told him I was retired now but still kept a LE commission compliments of the state. He told me that he could always spot a cop by the way they walked and favored their gun side. I told him that I did that and it has caused me back trouble. He invited me to sit down.
I asked him if he was just going in or getting off. He grinned and said, "I'm at work and I was just attending the morning briefing via my cell phone. I live here."
It turned out that the young mustachioed cop lived at the hotel and was reaping the benefits. He told me that he negotiated a rate with the manager for a 1 year lease. He paid half the weekday rate which came to about $50 a day and he received all the guest amenities plus he had a small suite with kitchenette. He had a take home ride that he parked near the front door each night. Vehicle burglaries had been heavy before he moved in and since he lived here there had only been one which he thought was an insurance job.
The only draw back was he had to pay income tax for the half rent he earned. Another plus was he accumulated free nights at other hotels from the same chain. He said, "Before I go to bed, I come down and sit in the lobby and walk the parking lot making a good visual presence. When I wake I come down for breakfast and walk the grounds again. Then I start my shift. I have had one loud noise call since living here for 5 months."
I start figuring and realized that even though he paid $1500 a month for rent, he received maid service, free cable, wi-fi, a pool, jacuzzi, workout room, sauna and free parking. Not to mention that he has no property taxes, insurance or utilities to pay, except for a cell phone bill and his personal car insurance. By the time I included daily meals I concluded this cop was living there for nothing. It was a sweet deal.
He told me that it was not an uncommon arrangement and that some retired cops also participated. Sweet.
When I checked out I saw the manager and asked him how having cops living on the property was working out. He was pleased with the arrangement because crime was down and the rental stats were up. I always like a happy ending.
That's the way I see it.