There are certain crimes that get committed in places more often than others here in Texas. Maybe it's just that certain crimes are targeted differently by each city. They focus in on what they perceive to be a problem, then pour a lot of resources into it.

For example, we tend to see a lot of prostitution stings in Lubbock, but very rarely do we see them in Amarillo. Some of these arrests are traditional prostitution busts, but a lot of them come via massage parlors around town.

Amarillo is now beginning to focus on cracking down on those massage parlors that MAY be providing services that aren't in line with just massage. However, it's creating quite a stir among those licensed massage therapists.

Looking at the history of Amarillo and massage parlors, there have only been three arrests made from these places over the last three years, so in theory, it would appear that this isn't a problem we deal with much in the city.

Is it because the massage parlors in town are on the up and up? Or is it due to a lack of regulation and checking in on these places? Mayor Cole Stanley believes it's more the latter, that they don't inspect these places as often as they should.

Starting next month, a new ordinance is going into place here in Amarillo where places that advertise as massage parlors can be checked on by police in a surprise inspection.

It's not that they want to invade on the privacy of these places, but with the second most often reported type of human trafficking coming from massage parlors, it's something the Mayor feels needs to be addressed more often.

While this may be a welcome thing for many, the licensed massage therapists who run a legitimate massage operation are crying foul, and it's caught the attention of the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

They state in their letter that police can't just "storm into a licensed counselor's office, whether an office attached to their home or in a commercial zone, to harass the counselor and violate the privacy of the counselor's clients."

Now, I can see where this could get tricky, because while many people get massages simply to relax, others are getting them for medical reasons, and that COULD cause some issues with HIPPA laws, etc., so I can see the concern there.

However, this ordinance isn't intended to invade the privacy of anyone, they are simply trying to clean up the places that are offering "more" than they should be. You can read the full ordinance (with changes) here.

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