Officials would like the 10 massage parlors in Warren to be gone, but to establish laws that hold up in court means starting with the assumption that they are legal businesses, city Law Director Greg Hicks said Thursday.
Just because people say “we all know” that prostitution takes place in these businesses, that doesn’t give a city the right to enact restrictive laws to push them out, Hicks told council and community members at a Warren City Council committee meeting.
If the business isn’t operating in a legitimate manner, that is up to the police to handle, Hicks said.
Police Chief Tim Bowers, who attended much of Thursday’s meeting, said he cannot comment on what his department will or will not be doing to combat possible illegal activities at Warren’s massage parlors.
Bob Weitzel, a member of the Northwest Neighborhood Association, and Councilman Vince Flask said they believe Warren’s problem with sex being sold at massage parlors is significant enough that it might be worth it to enact more strict standards, even if they get challenged in the courts.
“Sometimes you have to make it difficult,” Weitzel said.