city of San Antonio

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File #: 18-5912   
Type: Staff Briefing - Without Ordinance
In control: Public Safety Committee
On agenda: 10/23/2018
Posting Language: Briefing and Action on Massage Parlors. [Presented by William McManus, Chief of Police]
Attachments: 1. Massage Parlor Ordinance (DRAFT), 2. Massage Parlor Data
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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DEPARTMENT: Police Department

DEPARTMENT HEAD: William P. McManus, Chief of Police



Massage Parlor Ordinance Amendments


The SAPD Vice Unit is responsible for investigating complaints associated with suspected illegal activity at massage parlors. The Department completes investigations in coordination with the City Attorney's Office, Development Services, Health Department and the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. Since 2017, a total of 28 investigations have been completed resulting in 48 citations, 19 arrests and the closure of two establishments. The massage industry has changed significantly since the adoption of the massage ordinance three decades ago and the City has developed proposed ordinance amendments to strengthen enforcement and enhance penalties for violations.


According to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, there are 138 current massage licenses in San Antonio. However, the Development Services Department has identified 110 certificates of occupancy that have been issued to massage establishments. The attachment includes a table that provides an overview of the number of certificates of occupancy per district.

As referenced above, since 2017 a total of 28 investigations have been conducted by SAPD Vice in response to resident complaints and information received regarding suspected illegal activity to include drugs and prostitution. It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of violations can be attributed to approximately 15 establishments within the city.

SAPD Enforcement

The SAPD Vice Unit investigates resident complaints regarding massage parlors. Typically, investigations are comprised of an internet search on prominent review sites to determine if the establishment in question has a history of illegal activities followed by an undercover operation that includes an attempt to obtain prostitution servic...

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