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SWAT swarms midtown motel

The Conroe Police Department SWAT team swarmed The Conroe Midtown Motel on Nov.13, but they were not responding to a dispatch. The City of Conroe purchased the motel, located at 517 W. Davis near Frazier Street, in July and plans are underway to demolish the structure in the near future.

The City of Conroe purchased the 1.55 acre property in July for $1.9 million and residents were evicted in early November.

Thanks to an arrangement facilitated by Conroe Police Chief Charlie Ra y, Deputy Chief Philip Dupuis, and Downtown Development Manager Larry Calhoun, CPD SWAT used the motel for tactical training.

CPD Sgt. Mike Tindall said full access to the motel for the afternoon and much of the evening was very beneficial.

“We were able to run several different real life scenarios,” he said. “When training isn’t in the same place all the time, it makes conditions more realistic and officers don’t become complacent.”

Although the motel was once a respected and thriving business in downtown Conroe, in recent years it became known as a rundown eyesore and a hotbed of criminal activity. It was not unusual to see CPD patrol vehicles on location at any given hour of the night or day. The Conroe Fire Marshal’s Office also visited the location in April of 2006 citing multiple violations including blocked exits on the second floor, no fire extinguishers and dangerous wiring. The inspection was prompted by a complaint from a resident.

In the end, motel management charged monthly rates with no lease agreement and had become more like a low income apartment complex than the original function as a hotel.

With the city taking ownership, the residents gone and change coming quickly, the dilapidated symbol of a bygone era provided a final service t o its community.

“It was a great training opportunity,” Tindall said.

CPD SWAT trains regularly and the department will gladly consider any offers from owners of appropriate properties.

“We’re always looking for new training locations,” Tindall said.

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