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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Dallas considering closing sexually oriented businesses at 2 a.m

Dallas is considering requiring sexually oriented businesses to close from 2 – 6 a.m.

The council’s Quality of Life committee voted to have a task force study the issue for six more months and report back to the committee in May after police data showed a possible link between the clubs and criminal activity.

“Several homicides had occurred at a sexually oriented business in my district,” said Adam Bazaldua, chair, Quality of Life Committee.

The change would close the clubs the same time as bars across the city.

“Sure enough there is a strong correlation between hours and when these violent crimes occur at these sexually oriented businesses,” Bazaldua said.

Many strip clubs use a BYOB provision in state law that allows them to stay open overnight.

“When we are using as many as, and in some cases, more resources between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. than we are between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when the entire city is open, there is something that has to change here because there is something wrong,” Bazaldua said.

Numbers DPD released Friday show violent crime increased 80 percent in 2021 from 2-6 a.m. compared with 2019 and 76 percent of all reported violent crimes are happening in that time period. 

Attorney and former councilmember Philip Kingston, who is representing several club owners, argued before the committee there is not necessarily a link between the crimes and the adult businesses. 

“There is prostitution alleged to be associated with these clubs. You all know and I know if you have an SOB license and prostitution associated, you all would have already revoked its license and that has not occurred,” Kingston said.

Bazaldua said the proposal to require SOB’s to close at 2 am is not an attack on the industry. 

“I believe the adult entertainment industry should be afforded the safe and best environment to work in, as any other industry,” he said.

San Antonio and Plano are among the cities that already require 2 a.m. closures. Bazaldua believes the same approach for Dallas would help reduce police overtime and improve response times. 

“There is no question in my mind we can free up resources with DPD, to free up priority one and two calls and provide a safer environment,” Bazaldua said.

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