Dec 13, 2021 - News

Dallas Police want to crack down on sexually oriented businesses

A dancer onstage at The Lodge
Inside The Lodge, one of the most famous SOBs in Dallas. Photo: LM Otero/AP

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia is recommending that the City Council change the laws related to sexually oriented businesses.

Why it matters: Police believe crackdowns on SOBs will help reduce the crime rate in Dallas, especially on the Northwest side of the city.

What’s happening: Police recommend city ordinances change so that SOBs will be required to close at 2am.

  • Police also want the city to change the minimum employment age at these businesses to 21, to comply with a new state law.

Driving the news: The public safety committee will be briefed today on crime data around strip clubs. Another council committee has requested a task force examine the issue and present a report next year.

Context: Fort Worth, Plano and Grand Prairie require SOBs close at 2am.

By the numbers: Police have made 2,082 arrests at adult businesses since 2019, most of which occurred between 10pm and 6am, according to a Dallas Police Department report.

  • In that same time, there have been nearly 12,000 calls for police at the SOBs, including 2,396 from 2-6am.
  • There have been 549 aggravated assaults this year in the northwest patrol division, where most of Dallas’ strip clubs operate.
  • About 24% of those assaults occurred from 2-6am, as compared with 20% between 10pm and 2am.

What they’re saying: “This is to address being able to better regulate hours of operation for businesses that we have seen have criminal activity and where it’s been most prominent, and there’s data to support that with the presentation,” Council member Adam Bazaldua said at a meeting last month.

The other side: City Council member Omar Narvaez has said he’s waiting on more information before making a decision on the change. “Sex work is not anything that any of us should be looking at as derogatory or something that’s shameful,” he said at the same meeting.

The bottom line: Mayor Eric Johnson has been supportive of Chief Garcia’s plan to reduce crime. That’s likely to continue.

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