Davenport looking for more help regulating strip clubs

DES MOINES — Davenport is leading an effort to better regulate adult entertainment establishments. A bill proposed in the state legislature would allow cities and counties to restrict the hours of a strip club if local courts find sufficient evidence of assault, gunshots, or a riot within 500 feet of the business.

Davenport Police Chief Jeffery Bladel says a bill legislators passed in 2022 contained a loophole as it didn’t cover adult establishments that don’t serve alcohol. Bladel says the new bill would fix that.  “There was a loophole in there where they didn’t fall anywhere,” Bladel says, “and this does leave us, at the end of the day, the assurance that we can at least take some kind of action when action is needed.”

Chief Bladel says managing complaints locally instead of at the state level would be swifter and more effective. “That is the biggest piece,” he says, “that allows jurisdictions and cities to customize sanctions to whatever issue is they’re dealing with.” The bill has the support of the Metro Coalition, which represents some of Iowa’s largest cities.