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Published August 16, 2012, 08:31 PM

Fargo Police mull adult entertainment ordinance change

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- An increasing number of prostitution arrests in the area is prompting Fargo police to look into a stiffer adult entertainment ordinance.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- An increasing number of prostitution arrests in the area is prompting Fargo police to look into a stiffer adult entertainment ordinance. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the new ordinance could call for some drastic changes.

Sting after sting after sting - it's hard not to notice the news headlines. Just this week, the first ever report of human trafficking in Grand Forks, and for authorities, it all starts with the internet.

Keith Ternes - Fargo Police Chief: "If we don't think or don't believe that in many cases, not all, but many cases that that is a front to the unlawful prostitution activity that occurs, then I think we're just being ignorant to what's taking place."

A possible new ordinance would make every adult entertainment business and each individual entertainer obtain a license.

Chief Ternes: "If they're here to engage in adult entertainment, that is legal. If they're here to occur in unlawful activity, we'll keep a very close eye on that."

It would have little effect on a place like the Northern Gentleman's Club, which already needs to follow specific zoning regulations and focus more on adult classified ads.

Every entertainer we reached out to today didn't want to be named or go on camera, but some did say they felt the city would be overstepping its bounds. Chief Ternes disagreed, likening the process to other services provided in the city.

Chief Ternes: "If you want to operate a taxi business in this city, you need a license from the city to do that, and the individual taxi drivers need to get a permit before they can operate a taxi."

Several of the women we spoke with thought it would do little to deter those who do take it too far from continuing that illegal activity.

Chief Ternes said any possible ordinance is still very much in the draft stage and it would most likely be this fall before anything is presented to the city commission.

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