Last year after intially saying in court that a Connecticut woman raped at gunpoint, in the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa parking garage, in front of her two young children, ”failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities,” the hotel chain is dropping its defense because of a public relations nightmare. (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/hotelcheckin/post/2009/08/68496944/1)
Then there is this article titled "Chief Security Officers roundtable: The economy’s effect on security management" (http://www.securityinfowatch.com/roo...2450?pageNum=1), specifically noting the answers from Chad Callahan, Marriott’s EVP of Enterprise Loss Prevention.
The current business mantra seems to be “Do more with less”, and this has affected security and risk departments as well as all business units. How are you doing more with less?
Chad Callaghan’s Answer:
CSOs who are truly engaged have to balance the realities of the economy with the risks inherent in their businesses. An example of how to balance the two is by conducting risk assessments on the products, services or properties you are protecting and then developing cost-effective measures to replace security staff with more efficient security technology.
How has the current state of the economy affected the risk and threat vectors you are presented with? For example: Are you facing an increase in property-type crimes? Workplace violence? Data theft?
Chad Callaghan’s Answer
There is no question that crime and threats have increased over the past 12 months or so in our business. Our internal investigations has so much demand that the staff has developed an "investigations hierarchy", effectively limiting the level of their involvement to cases that have a high value or executive interests. It appears that many people, both guests and employees are being impacted by the economy, leading some to pursue illegal means to compensate.
Chad Callaghan is on record in this publication stating that he is an advocate replacing security staff with security technology. Then he admits that crime has increased in the past 12 months or so at Marriott hotels, to the point where it is limiting their ability to address all cases, except for the high value ones and the ones of executive interests.
The combination of less physical security and more crime does not mesh well with Marriott’s statements regarding the events at the Charlotte Marriott which includes the statement, “As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is a top priority." See this Marriott Rewards Insiders post regarding that issue (http://www.marriottrewardsinsiders.marriott.com/thread/5371).
It seems to me from reading the above mentioned article, that only cost saving and addressing high value and executive security concerns are the Modus Operandi at Marriott International, based on Chad Callaghan’s statements in the article.
This information supports the need for guests to be able to legally protect themselves on Marriott branded properties. Specifically since Marriott's EVP of Enterprise Loss Prevention, current board member of the ASIS International, and and industry roundtable expert, is advocating for the reduction of security staff in favor of technology and pubically admits that the security staffing is so low at Marriott that it is limiting their ability to address all crimes at Marriott hotels and they focus only the ones of high value and executive interest.
This does not give me extreme level of confidence in Marriott’s ability to guarantee my personal safety at one of their branded properties.
NO! Last summer when me and my family stayed at a Townplace suites, the guy in the next room ( he had been there for 5 months) had drilled a hole in the wall the size of a pencil lead and placed a wireless video camera in the wall. The hotel found the hole DURING our stay, instead of looking into the hole they simply patched it and never told us. He re-opened the hole and watched my 11 and 15 yr old daughters try on school clothes.
He was arrested, got off because they couldn't prove he recorded any photos, but they never searched his car or his office! THe hotel NEVER told us anyhting until I just happened to find out via a letter form the Colorado victims rights folks...
Let's say this is ulgy, the same thign that happened to Ms. Andrews..
Stepping Stones - I cannot believe what I just read! Your comments, while almost always pro-Marriott, are over the top on this one. I don't disagree that everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings, but for you to mention that in the context of the women who was raped in the Marriott Hotel parking garage is no less than cruel and unusual behavior. I would hope that you would consider appolgizing to every woman and child that ever stayed at a Marriott, and consider your comments a bit more closely before posting. You are spot-on most of the time, and I enjoy your posts 99% of the time, not this time. Shame on you!
As I stated earlier, your words on this subject mirror your clear support for Marriott on most issues brought up on this platform. You clearly suggested in your original email on this suject that the guest is somehow alos responsible for their security when staying at Marriott. If you (and Marriott) realloy feel this way, I suggest a sign be posted at the door of each pproperty telling anyone who enters they do so at their own risk. Is that really what you believe????
thank you for such a thought-provoking post. I hope everyone goes to the link you provided and gain some insight opn what happened and how Marriott handled the situation. What might be of particular interest to some are the comments from readers and their unanimous support for the victim and condemnation of the actions Marriott took to deflect blame.
"This does not give me extreme level of confidence in Marriott’s ability to guarantee my personal safety at one of their branded properties."
Marriott deserves to be nailed on the Stamford Marriott case. The defense plea was entered by the attorneys for the insurance company of the franchise that owns and operates that garage | property. They did not escalate to corporate legal nor did corporate appear to have any escalation process in place prior to independent defense entering pleas.
Chad Callahan's comments about cutting costs (headcount) and introducing technology w/o specifics is contradictory. Is he referring to walkie-talkies or closed circuit TV? Technology can be extremely expensive to provision, deploy and involves training, too.
Contradicting sweeping generalizations about eroding loss prevention services at all "Marriott branded properties," Marriott Vacation Club deserves different thinking. Vacation ownership involves cost-sharing. Taxes, water, internet, cable and loss prevention are among the many services itemized in the annual maintenance fee.
The exposure resulting from reduced lps headcount would be just as significant on the hotel side, but very difficult to justify on the timeshare side since the annual fees are approved and paid in advance at the beginning of the year.
I'm not saying cut backs don't happen, lps would not be the line item to shave in an owner-driven budget. When you're on a 2 week vacation in your timeshare in Maui, Palm Desert or Marco Island, the last thing you want is your villa broken into, so you pay upfront.
I feel safe inside the hotel and in my room, but was very surprsised to learn there are no cameras surveilling the parking lot after my car was broken into at a Newark, CA Marriott. According to the police who took the report, this was not an isolated incident.
I had parked in front of what appeared to be a camera, but in fact was not. The desk clerk told me only cameras in the hotel were aimed over the desk. I was told this was the norm for Marriott.
This was surprising for a high quality product like Marriott. I am disappointed to say the least.