Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rockville acts to avoid becoming "safe haven" for massage parlors, prostitution

Rockville's Mayor and Council voted unanimously last night to approve an ordinance that would apply Montgomery County laws to massage parlors in the city. An effort spearheaded by Councilmember Beryl Feinberg led to the measure introduced by Rockville Police Chief Terry Treschuk, which would allow the city to cooperate with Montgomery County Police and Department of Permitting Services in the regulation of "bodywork" businesses like massage spas.

Much like the recent county regulations, the aim of the city ordinance is to fight the growth of human trafficking and prostitution in such enterprises. The growing immigrant population has led to an increase in victims of both crimes who, due to language or fear of being deported, may be unable to seek help from police easily.

The change in the county rules led to concerns that illegal spa businesses squeezed elsewhere in Montgomery would seek refuge in Rockville, making it a "safe haven" for prostitution and human trafficking. Feinberg said about 60 such illegal enterprises have been closed by the county since the new rules went into effect, which created the urgency to extend those rules to the city.

The Mayor and Council voted unanimously to waive the review period for the ordinance, to get the rules into place as quickly as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment