ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The Odessa City Council is looking to make some changes to the operations of sexually oriented businesses. SOB not only include strip clubs, but also shops that promote sexual content.
“Anything that we can do to stop something as bad as human trafficking needs to be done,” said Councilman Dewey Bryant. The only strip club inside city limits, Jaguars, is located in his district. “The ordinance that we put in, at least it was strong enough to incorporate some things that will keep that from happening, which is important.”
Senior Assistant City Attorney, Dan Jones, says the council is being asked to consider amendments to an ordinance that was passed last October.
“We got a lot of feedback from some of the citizens.” explained Jones. “So we’re going to take the 600 feet from sexually oriented businesses, and we’re going to move it out to 1,500 feet. That includes churches, elementaries, schools, high schools, and residential.”
In addition, the council would require adding National Human Trafficking Hotline signs in Spanish. Businesses are already required to have them in English.
“The likelihood of something happening in industries like this is higher than in other industries,” stated Chief Michael Gerke with the Odessa Police Department.
While councilman and women agree on the necessity, some disagreed on an already existing guideline. Entertainers, and non-entertainers, in the industry may be denied their annual license renewal if they have outstanding taxes owed to the city.
“What we’re looking for is are there any minors out there,” said Jones. “Now a minor will not have a water bill in their name, so it goes back to record keeping and personal qualifications.”
The council decided to move forward without making any changes to the proposed amendments. They will address it again in two weeks for its second approval. If passed, it will go into law in two weeks from this Wednesday.