Vicious-dog legislation could include a list of breeds.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- City council will consider ways to put the squeeze on massage parlors and take a bite out of a long-standing problem with vicious dogs.
At Wednesday's council meeting, Mayor Hank Angelo says he will suggest city council hang security cameras on utility poles to monitor comings and goings at the city's seven "health spas."
"If you are not doing something illegal, you are not going to mind," the mayor said.
The spas have long been perceived as hotbeds of prostitution.
Taking a stand
"We need to do something," said Robert Holmes III, the 3rd Ward councilman. "If we can't do something as legislators, if we can do something as an administration, I'll go ahead and get the Mahoning Valley Counsel of Churches and we will manage to shut them down."
There are already plenty of laws that could be used against the spas, said Greg Hicks, the city law director.
"The key is enforcement," he said, adding that prostitution can't be prosecuted simply on the basis of innuendo.
He suggested police could go undercover to check for prostitution. Beat cops could also stop by the establishments -- just like they stop by Mocha House or McDonald's-- as a deterrent to crime.
Angelo said he will ask police chief John Mandopoulos at the city council meeting Wednesday how he plans to respond to the spa crackdown.
Angelo will also explain a proposal to use remote cameras to monitor the spas. They would be similar to the cameras set up around Warren G. Harding High School at a cost of $20,000, he said.
Signs would warn passers-by that they may get caught on camera, he said. Customers identified from car license plates could also receive letters in the mail.
"We want to keep our citizens out of harm's way," Angelo said.
Council members say they have a similar intent with legislation now being worked out that will place restrictions on dog ownership.
Dog laws being discussed include requiring the owners of certain dog breeds to pay a fee, post signs or purchase $100,000 liability insurance.
A list of possible breeds, compiled by Bob Pinti of the city health department, includes pit bulls, German shepherds, great Danes, huskies and wolf hybrids.
Legislation could be presented to city council in 30 to 90 days, Hicks said. It will also probably require that dogs be kept on leashes and that they not be tied outside for long periods.
Legislation could also address barking dogs, he said.