Escort-service rules tightened |

Escort-service rules tightened

When Lloyd Evans has his sit-down chats with the women working in Park City’s burgeoning escort-service industry, he says he will not be giving sermons about their line of work or using the conversations to lobby them to find another profession.

Instead, the Park City police chief says either himself or another member of the Police Department will try to verify information about the escorts and provide them an overview of City Hall’s rules regulating the industry.

In a unanimous vote recently, the Park City Council recently tightened the escort-service rules, a reaction to what has been a sharp increase in the number of such companies operating in the Park City area, drawn by the city’s big tourism industry and what had been looser regulations than places in the Salt Lake Valley. The services are now designated sexually oriented businesses.

Under the new rules, escorts must obtain a license. To do so, they are required to meet with the chief of police or someone designated by the chief.

Evans says the meetings will be mild mannered. He says the police will attempt to verify the information the escorts listed on their applications and will give out packets with the rules.

"I don’t think we’re the moral police," the chief says, declaring that the police will not question their job during the meetings.

The new rules, Evans says, are similar to those in place in cities along the Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City, Midvale and Murray. Each escort service is required to have a license and every escort working for the services must be licensed as well.

Some of the information the escorts are required to provide the police include:

( Legal name, aliases, address, phone number, driver-license number and Social Security number.

( Age, birth date and place of birth

( Height, weight, hair color and eye color.

( Written proof showing that the person is at least 21 years old.

Also required are two color photographs of the person’s face and the person’s fingerprints.

Escorts who do not work for a licensed service are prohibited from applying for a City Hall permit.

Evans says requiring the escorts to register could combat crime.

In a report to Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council, Evans says escort services migrated to Park City after other communities passed stricter laws. Before the new rules, City Hall required that escort services only obtain a regular business license.

There was little public interest as the City Council passed the restrictions.

Evans says about 20 escort services operate in the Park City area. Calls to several services were not returned.

The rules were adopted a little less than a year after a highly publicized prostitution bust in Park City. In the January case, the authorities conducted a sting and arrested four people on prostitution charges.

The four people worked for two escort services, the police alleged.

In the sting, the authorities arranged a meeting with the escorts, who then agreed to perform a sex act, the police said.

In surrounding Summit County, business-license rules regulate escort services but Sue Follett, the Summit County clerk, says it is believed that no escort services hold licenses from the county.

Dave Edmunds, the Summit County sheriff, says escort services are not operating in the county except in Park City. If the escorts begin working outside of the city, he says he would be interested in rules similar to those in Park City.

Should he someday be required to meet with the escorts in a similar fashion as the police chief, the sheriff, who links escort services to prostitution, says he would warn them that he would not allow them to commit crimes.

"I would tell them, in no uncertain terms, there will be no criminal activity," the sheriff says.

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