Security cameras, 'mystery shoppers' coming to FQ strip clubs

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Security cameras and mandatory training sessions are just a few things that will now be required for seven strip clubs in the French Quarter.

"The overall goal is to cut down on human trafficking and any illegal activity," said ATC Commissioner Juana Marine-Lombard.

The state office of Alcohol and Tobacco, along with the NOPD, conducted a raid back in January as part of a two-month-long investigation on human trafficking.

While the NOPD said none of the clubs was charged with human trafficking, it did find evidence of drug use, lewd acts and prostitution.

"The owners of these businesses have been told explicitly and in writing what offenses led to their suspension," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.

Six of the clubs were placed on an emergency suspension. Two had their licenses revoked, and one club closed just before the raids.

Now, as part of new consent orders, the clubs will have to have mandatory training sessions for employees.

"There is some disparity between human trafficking and prostitution, but it can be both," Marine-Lombard said.

Security cameras will have to be placed in VIP rooms, private rooms and stages. The footage must be kept for 30 days and made available to ATC upon request.

"If you have a private room with no cameras and no monitoring, then it increases the chances that someone could become a victim of some sort of assault or prostitution or illegal sex acts could go on," Marine-Lombard said.

Clubs must also begin using mystery shoppers to check in on the businesses to make sure there's nothing illegal going on.

Two of the clubs owned by the same group, Hustler Barely Legal and Hunk Oasis, will also be required to hire security guards. The guards will check the bags of employees before the start of every shift. ATC Commissioner Juana Marine-Lombard is hoping the new consent orders will be enough, but she said her office will continue to monitor the situation at every club.

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