It's the police! Open up!
If you subscribe to the Google or Yahoo! news services, you will have seen the release from earlier this week regarding a significant ruling in Lenexa, Kan. After recent approval by the City Council, the town now requires its storage facilities to maintain a register of people who rent its units for use by the local police department. It is hoped the list will assist officials in halting common storage-related crimes such as methamphetamine production and theft. It will include each tenant's home address and phone number as well as a copy of his ID.
Lenexa isn't the only city considering this tactic—several other towns in the county are urging storage operators toward similar methods of cooperation. Supposedly, six Lenexa facilities support the requirement. I have no idea how many total facilities the city actually harbors, though a quick Yellow Pages search reveals there are at least 21. If six are in support, where do the others stand?
According to the city's attorney, the measure does not violate customer privacy because police are only given access to public information. But here's how this is supposed to work: By the PD's admission, they intend to use the list to identify people with criminal records. Those individuals will be suspect for illegal activity at the storage site.
"We're looking at the people who have been arrested several times in the recent past and obviously have ongoing criminal enterprises," Officer David Lewis-Jones told the Belleville News Democrat. "If you're talking about a 40-year-old who made a mistake when he was 18 and has been a good guy ever since, we're not interested. And the last thing we intend to do is bother law-abiding citizens."
Let's just hope you're not a guy (or gal) with a history of arrests who has turned your life around and is using storage legitimately for your grandma's china or the boat you were able to buy from hocking stolen goods.
Seriously though ... How do you storage managers feel about this? Are you hip with keeping a tenant register for local law enforcement? Or do you view this as a violation of civil liberties? I'm always trying to eek feedback out of people with this blog, and precious few of you respond. But I really want some commentary on this one. What are your thoughts on the issue? We'll revisit it in a future post.
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