Even though many employees coming out of the prison system are genuinely appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the workforce and many times end up being some of the most productive members of the team, it is crucial that those candidates with a prior criminal conviction(s) be evaluated in terms of their qualifications, and risk to the hotel and public safety. Equally important is the follow up by the employer should they be hired. DothanFirst.com, Valencia Jones describes a recent incident at EconoLodge in Daleville involving an employee with a criminal history.
Police said maintenance man Solomon Henderson had the keys to all rooms at the EconoLodge in Daleville and went through one hotel guest’s luggage, stealing a gun. They also said another hotel worker witnessed him leaving the room around the time the gun was stolen.
“When the victim called the police, Mr. Henderson attempted to leave. Officers arrived, asked Henderson to stand by, and at that point, he says he ‘quit’ and tried to get away from officers,” said Sergeant Noah Suiter with the Daleville Department of Public Safety.
Henderson was then arrested and charged with second degree theft of a firearm. Suiter said he had a prior criminal record and was prohibited from carrying weapons.
“Usually hotels are pretty good about keeping up safety, but there’s always that chance,” Suiter said.
Many people assume a hotel is a safe place to store luggage, and police said this is a rare case where that trust was put into the wrong hands. WDHN’s Valencia Jones went to the hotel manager to find out why he would hire someone with a criminal background.
“At the time, you know, we tried to give someone another chance, a second chance, because he had been out so long, but was not aware that the crime was theft by taken,” said Willie Hood, the general manager of the Daleville location.
It is a chance he said he would take again.
“Everything did work out for the good. He did turn [the gun] back in,” said Hood. “It won’t stop me from giving people another chance, but I’ll just be more careful next time.”
Suiter said there are other options for those who legally carry concealed weapons, including taking them with you, or, if you are heading to a building where guns are not allowed, the police department can provide temporary storage. Henderson was in custody at the Dale County Jail and released after posting a $5,000.00 bond.