Falls Twp Takes Action to Stop Human Trafficking
With an eye on public safety, the Falls Township Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that would crack down on human trafficking operations.
During Monday’s virtual meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance for massage establishments. The regulation requires that all massage establishments and alternative therapy establishments obtain an annual license to operate legally.
In addition, guidelines of the ordinance require that all massage therapists be licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Copies of state licenses must be submitted along with the license application. Alternative therapy technicians must all be licensed by Falls Township. Proof of education, training or certification of graduation is required for all alternative therapy applicants.
Township attorney Lauren Gallagher said the ordinance is modeled after similar regulations enacted locally.
Police Chief Nelson Whitney said previously that the regulation is aimed at detecting and preventing human trafficking. On Monday night, to illustrate the need for the ordinance, Whitney noted that police recently made a human trafficking arrest.
Falls police have “made cases” with massage businesses in the past, he said.
According to Whitney, the ordinance, as drafted, is “keeping pace” with similar efforts in Bucks County.
“We are going to take some action in the next month” Whitney said on Tuesday in an e-mail exchange, but “giving more information now may compromise our plan” in response to questions about ongoing investigative work.
This is something clearly we don’t want in Falls Township,” the Police Chief added.