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Kokomo eyes licenses for dancers at adult clubs

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Dancers at adult entertainment venues in Kokomo could be required to have a license from the city under a proposal aimed at preventing human trafficking in sex trades.

Common Council President Mike Kennedy said the council will either create a new ordinance or amend an existing one to require licenses of adult entertainers.

The move could make Kokomo the first Indiana community to require such licenses, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Kennedy said the council doesn't want to intrude on civil rights or violate the Indiana or U.S. constitutions. He said the council's public safety committee will draft an ordinance, which will be reviewed by the council's attorney before being presented to the full council and city attorney Lawrence McCormack for review.

"This is something we can do that can work for the community," Kennedy said. "This is not an easy thing to do."

Kennedy said he decided to consider a licensing ordinance after discussions with residents.

Councilwoman Cindy Sanders, who had suggested a licensing ordinance earlier this year, said she was thankful Kennedy was taking up the idea and believes Kokomo is ready for such licensing.

"There are individuals that need protection. This will better our community and move it forward," she said.

Kennedy said there is no timetable for crafting a draft of the ordinance. He said the council wants to ensure it has Mayor Greg Goodnight's support before moving forward.

Resident Don Burris said he supports such an ordinance.

"To license dancers is an important consideration for a small town with six clubs," Burris said. "Give the community the opportunity for input."

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