The ordinance is a step towards combating human trafficking in Volusia, the county stated in a press release.
The Volusia County Council adopted an ordinance on Tuesday, May 18, that would enforce adult entertainment businesses to display a human trafficking public awareness sign.
According to a county press release, this sign is already required by Florida law in strip clubs and businesses that provide massage or body work services. It must be in English and Spanish and provide contact information for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Per state statute, counties can also adopt an ordinance to enforce the signs, which is what Volusia County decided to do.
Violating the ordinance carries a maximum fine of $500.
“I’m very proud that our county has pushed moving forward on it,” said County Councilwoman Heather Post. “This is, hopefully, a beginning and a push towards advocacy in our county. Human trafficking has been happening for a very long time.”
Christy Gillis, community development director for the Florida Department of Children and Families Circuit 7, said that her agency has authenticated over 40 local cases of sex trafficking in children in the last three years.
“It is happening in our community,” Gillis said. “This is something that’s happening in our community, and we want to do something about it.”
The press release states that the ordinance applies countywide and provides for a 90-day grace period. Both county and city law enforcement agencies, as well as code enforcement agencies, are able to enforce it.