Tregre: New regulations benefit St. John
We have seen these headlines before. It was a battle royale in the St. John Parish Council Chambers, where citizens, clergy and elected officials verbally fought to keep an adult bookstore from continuing to operate.
People were very upset and demanded that the business be shut down.
An investigation was conducted by St. John Sheriff’s Office to determine the level of graphic material being sold on VHS tapes by this particular business was extreme.
Well, history is repeating itself.
Fast forward to August 2017 and here we are again with the Council having to hear those who are for and against strip clubs, burlesque shows and peep shows being allowed in our community.
How did this come about you might ask?
Well, recently there were several attempts from certain bars at having these types of shows in local establishments. If it were not for social media advertisements, these events would have taken place. But that did not happen.
A business with an occupational license specifying to be one type of business should not be able to open as a bar on one night and then a strip club the next, without notifying parish officials.
Our community does not welcome businesses who are flying in performers all the way from around the country for this kind of entertainment.
SJSO frequently gets calls for service about oversized crowds, parking or people loitering during events that may or may not have proper security for the event.
A person in a T-shirt with “Security” written on the back does not constitute sufficient protection for our citizens, because in the event of an altercation, they do not have the proper means to contact us, nor assist in handling the situation.
There will always be citizens who feel like this is just a way to make a living and see nothing wrong with this type of entertainment.
Last week the L’OBSERVATEUR placed the story on its social media page. I read the comments from supporters of strip clubs, telling those who oppose it to “go get a life,” along with some other strong and offensively worded tirades.
Or as usual some stated, “there is nothing to do in St. John Parish.”
Well, I think the majority of St. John Parish residents do not want our community to be like Bourbon Street West, which gives us the label “New Orleans West.”
There is a reason why we do not see attempts by other surrounding parishes, rushing to support this type of adult entertainment.
When social media brings hundreds of people from all over the metro area to an unsanctioned event that exceed fire codes and parking availability, with loud noise and the increased probability of crime, we are all affected.
In closing, I hope that all the kids are ready to get back in school! I know I am!
Remember, there is a 9 p.m. school night curfew. Parents please know where your children are at all times … it’s the law!
Have a great school year and Go Wildcats, Go Comets, Go Rams and Go Rebels!
Mike Tregre is sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.