WEEKLY EDITORIAL RECAP

THURSDAY

LOOK OUT FOR THE LAP DANCE POLICE

Hooray for the elimination of serious crime in Southern Nevada! Let’s credit Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie for finally halting vehicle thefts, break-ins, gang violence and domestic disturbances. Heck, 9-1-1 dispatchers now take calls for lost pets and playground disputes between 2-year-olds — our local cops have that much time on their hands.

How else can Las Vegas police justify making strip clubs a law enforcement priority?

On Tuesday, police asked the Clark County Commission to approve a new code that would allow undercover officers to ticket exotic dancers who get a little too friendly with their customers. …

Vice unit Lt. Karen Hughes says some dancers deliberately arouse patrons, then try to close bigger payouts as prostitutes.

Current county code allows police to go after only club owners for dancer misconduct, such as straddling a customer. Because dancers work as freelancers and owners aren’t always on the premises, it’s difficult for police to prove that owners know about lap dances that go too far, Sgt. Glen Lowe said.

Police want the county’s code to mirror the city’s. That language doesn’t impose stricter lap-dancing rules, which the commission briefly considered in 2002. Instead, police say, it makes exotic dancers directly accountable for misconduct and deters the kind of contact that leads to illegal acts of prostitution.

This is all very silly. For starters, undercover police have to be in, ahem, extremely close proximity to any lap dance to judge whether it’s appropriate or illicit. So how many vice officers will Las Vegas police dedicate to the enforcement of this code, assuming it’s approved?

And how many lap dances will they have to endure before they issue a citation? …

Southern Nevada law enforcement agencies need to focus their attention on serious crimes that pose a threat to public safety and private property. And if Las Vegas police can’t have a cruiser respond promptly to every home burglary, if they can’t curtail the “Lord of the Flies” culture that dominates our streets and highways, then they certainly don’t have the time to crack down on lap dances.

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