Lemoore Police Department seeks training to combat illicit massage activities

By The Leader Staff
Lemoore Police Chief Darrell Smith
Lemoore Police Chief Darrell Smith

The Lemoore Police Department, on Tuesday, (March 28) took part in a massage therapy training – but Lemoore’s officers aren’t learning the fine art of massage, they took part in an important training exercise provided by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC).

The training focused on eliminating and preventing illicit massage businesses and the tools law enforcement agencies can use to shut them down.

On several occasions, the Lemoore Police Department has in fact encountered illicit massage parlors, and yesterday’s no-cost training was designed to enhance its abilities to counter such illegal activities.   

"The Lemoore Police Department has partnered with CAMTC to facilitate training for law enforcement personnel within Kings County,” said Lemoore Police Chief Darrell Smith.  “The Lemoore Police Department recognizes that massage therapy can offer valuable health services, but the department also recognizes the need to regulate and monitor massage businesses as they are susceptible to unlawful behavior, such as prostitution and human trafficking.”

Smith also said that it was the department’s goal to maintain the community’s high quality of life by stopping individuals seeking to conduct illegal activities.

In efforts to combat illicit massage business CAMTC ramped up law enforcement training sessions last year, shared information with law enforcement agencies and discussed new developments and changes in the Massage Therapy Act, which went into effect January 1, 2015.

Lemoore is the latest law enforcement agency to have its officers undergo CAMTC training. The two-hour session focused on a variety of topics, ranging from general information sharing between organizations to the types of evidence CAMTC uses to take disciplinary action, including suspension and revocation. 

The training sessions strengthen information sharing between CAMTC, law enforcement agencies, and code enforcement officers and provide important information on best practices that law enforcement agencies can use to save time and money while successfully shutting down criminal enterprises.

Lemoore Police Department seeks training to combat illicit massage activities

After officers receive the training, which has been offered for the last several years, they are armed with detailed knowledge about how to work cooperatively with CAMTC to take stronger enforcement action and craft more focused policies in the fight against illicit massage parlors.

“CAMTC is pleased to provide this training to law enforcement agencies across the state,” said Rick McElroy, director of CAMTC’s Professional Standards Division. “We believe communication and information sharing are key components in ensuring public safety by working together to close illicit massage parlors.”

He added that as the public demand for accessible therapeutic massage increases, it is critical that agencies work with all stakeholders to weed out the bad apples.

The mission of California Massage Therapy Council (a private public benefits corporation) is to protect the public by certifying massage professionals in California that meet the requirements in the law, and approving massage programs that meet the minimum standards for training and curriculum.

For more information on CAMTC, please visit www.camtc.org        

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