Mayor Eric Johnson has announced his plans to add public safety issues with Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOB) to the agenda for the City Council to vote on during their January 26 meeting. According to Police Chief Eddie Garcia, violent crime is at a high during the hours of 2 a.m. through 6 a.m., and it is critical to make a change.
According to a press release, Adam McGough, Public Safety Committee Chairman, and Adam Bazaldua, Quality of Life, Arts, & Culture Committee Chairman, helped Chief Garcia get this issue moving towards a better solution.
Garcia and his team have created a report with crime data during these hours and presented it to Mayor Johnson. The police chief is requesting to change and update Chapter 41A to restrict hours due increased crime observed in the early morning hours at Sexually Oriented Businesses. Along with this request, Mayor Johnson will add the state law that prohibits the employment of any individual that is under twenty-one years old.
Chapter 41A of the Dallas City Code is the guide for Sexually Oriented Businesses in regards to promoting morality, health, safety, and “general welfare of the citizens of the city.” There is so far nothing about restricted hours of operation within this document.
Johnson stated, “The chief has done exactly what we have asked of him. We have requested clear plans to address violent crime where it occurs. We have asked police commanders to make data-driven decisions. We have called for solutions that would alleviate the burdens on our police department by eliminating the need for a police response. This plan accomplishes all of these objectives.”
According to The Dallas Morning News, cities such as San Antonio, El Paso, and Fort Worth have restrictions on operating hours already in place for Sexually Oriented Businesses. These businesses include strip clubs and adult video, book, and novelty stores. There are thirty-eight Sexually Oriented Businesses licensed in Dallas, thirty-four of which are located in northwest Dallas. Fourteen strip clubs currently stay open beyond two in the morning.
Johnson stated in the press release, “We must continue to put public safety first in Dallas… through a ‘kitchen sink’ approach to public safety in 2021, we achieved a reduction in violent crime that bucked national trends. But to meet our goal of becoming the safest major city in America, we must take our efforts to the next level in 2022.”