Jacksonville, Florida (February 21st, 2020) — After a year and a half of focus group meetings, Councilman Becton, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office SO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and local hotel Owners officially announced the launch of a new program for hotels across the City of Jacksonville that aims to improve safety and lower crime – TIPSA, Tourism Industry and Public Safety Association.
TIPSA is a proactive crime and safety initiative based on a peer-to-peer communication effort and the notion that “if you see something, say something” within the hotel community. Councilman Becton began this initiative just over a year ago alongside Visit Jacksonville, FRLA, JSO and several concerned local hotel owners to reinforce the fact that the “Safety of Jacksonville visitors is our #1 priority.”
“Hotel crimes need to be a major priority of our city”, Council member Becton noted. “Florida is a tourist destination and Jacksonville is no different then other parts of Florida that value the impact of how safety and security for our visitors is so important”.
On February 21st Councilman Becton, FRLA & JSO held a TIPSA industry Launch Meeting with Duval County hotels. The meeting was organized specifically for local hotel owners and general managers to attend and learn about the program, the benefits of joining, and the opportunity’s that could come from TIPSA as it evolves. Councilman Becton, FRLA’s NE Florida Chapter Director Nicole Chapman, Visit Jacksonville’s President/CEO Michael Corrigan, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, as well as, a panel of hotel owners, general managers and Security Professionals presented at the meeting.
A press conference for the media followed right after to inform residents and future visitors of the programs purpose and benefits that will come from it. Councilman Becton said this is something that started off with a discussion about a hotel in his district, and he is thrilled to see where its at now and where it will go.
“My focus has always been of concern for the area hotels around Baymeadows and J.T.B”, Councilmember Becton explained. “We have been spending a lot of time and investment in and around Baymeadows specifically with new developments and roadway improvement and it was obvious that the last piece of the puzzle for its revitalization was contingent on improving the community’s perception of crime in area hotels”, Becton added. “It was a chance meeting with a local hotel owner, Jitan Kuverji of the Comfort Suites, where we connected immediately as we both had been working on the same problem but with different groups”, Becton concluded.
TIPSA will allow the local industry to be proactive in preventing crime at area hotels. Through this program there will be an open line of communication among hotel owners/general managers and JSO that will become a key tool in reporting and identifying suspicious activity.
TIPSA has 3 main components, which includes basic safety standards for all hotels to comply with, enhanced communication with JSO access, and as new peer-to-peer in a WhatsApp thread.
Safety standards include Check ID at check-in, keep track of previous incident reports and provide all front desk employees access to it, standardized payment procedures, locks & key security and develop an internal protocol for suspicious activity awareness and reporting.
JSO Assistant Chief for Zone 3, Paul Restivo will spearhead this effort for JSO. JSO has created an exclusive email account where hoteliers can share information directly to them on suspicious activities and incidents. The new communication platform used within the WhatsApp, is specifically for hotel owners and general managers and key JSO personnel to maintain constant communication on suspicious activities.
The WhatsApp group and the JSO email are a peer to peer information sharing group and NOT a crime reporting tool. All crime activity should be reported to JSO via the emergency (911) or non-emergency number (904-630-0500).
At the time of the announcement, FRLA confirmed around 30 hotels have signed up to be a part of TIPSA, and Councilman Becton hopes to see that number grow.
“It’s important that we get as many hotel owners involved in this program as possible” Council member Becton acknowledged. “The more points of information that is shared, the more valuable and comprehensive the information will be to help track and report crime related activities”, Council member Becton explained.
TIPSA is a pilot program devised for Duval County with the hope to develop it into the standard prevention effort that other counties can adopt in the future. If you are a local hotel owner or general manager and are interested in joining TIPSA, please contact Nicole Chapman with FRLA at email ([email protected]) and include the following information:
– Property Name
– Cell Phone Number
Local News Stories On the TIPSA Launch, Visit:
For more Information on TIPSA, Visit: