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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pr. George's officials target illegal clubs

(Posted November 16, 2005)
Actions prompted by the murder of Lakita Tolson, 19, gunned down outside the Culture Club (background) on November 5, 2005.

"Pr. George's officials target illegal clubs; Leaders call for stronger policing"
Examiner, November 16, 2005 (by Anna Bailey, Examiner Staff Writer)
Prince George's County leaders want to expedite the process that would allow the county to shut down teen dance clubs, strip clubs and other establishments that operate without proper permits and have become the target of neighborhood nuisance complaints.

[. . .]

"I'm frustrated because as an elected official I should know where to go to get help, and nobody wants to take responsibility. I have never seen a government pass the buck so much," Councilman Tony Knotts, D-Temple Hills, said Tuesday to county attorneys and representatives from the police, fire and sheriff's departments, the State's Attorney's Office and the Department of Environmental Resources.

Previously, all those agencies worked together to shut down unsavory establishments through the County Multi Agency Services Team. In the 1980s, C-MAST closed massage parlors by nitpicking them with citations and misdemeanor arrests until they closed, said Ralph Grutzmacher, the council's legislative expert.
"What everybody did is get together and made life miserable for this illegal section of the economy," Grutzmacher said.

But in the mid-1990s, C-MAST was underfunded, stopped meeting daily and was rendered ineffective.


"Club's Operation After Slaying Faulted"
Post, November 16, 2005
A Prince George's County Council hearing yesterday was filled with public safety officials, finger-pointing and frustrated community leaders who want to know why a violence-plagued club for minors in Suitland is still open after the killing of a 19-year-old woman. [More]

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