Jan 11, 2022 - News

Dallas reviewing city ordinance regulating massage businesses

Dallas police patrol car

Photo: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Dallas city attorney is reviewing the local code on regulating massage businesses.

Why it matters: Police officials say that some massage businesses are fronts for criminal enterprises, including money laundering and sex trafficking.

Details: The Dallas Police Department has made 38 arrests in the past two years during 22 investigations into massage businesses, according to a presentation at the Public Safety Committee meeting yesterday.

  • 50 employees at massage businesses were offered social services, according to police.

Yes, but: These businesses are typically investigated as a result of complaints, not a "consistent regulatory process," city officials say.

  • Massage businesses are licensed by the state and city code cannot supersede those regulations.

The big picture: Like most U.S. cities, Dallas saw a sharp increase in violent crime in 2020, but crime has dropped since Chief Eddie Garcia was hired and implemented his crime reduction plan last year.

  • The violent crime reduction plan has so far focused on hot spot policing, which means officers target geographic areas with historically high crime rates.

By the numbers: Violent crime dropped more than 3% in 2021 compared to 2020.

  • In 2020, there were 254 murders. In 2021, there were 220, according to police data.
  • Property crimes dropped 3.5% in 2021 compared to 2020.

What’s next: Council members have also expressed concern about crime at sexually oriented businesses and will consider changing the city ordinance on Jan. 26 to require the businesses to close at 2am.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Dallas stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more