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Former Police Chief Makes Condom-Only Motion

Former Police Chief Makes Condom-Only Motion
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May 13, 2004 2:44 PM PDT    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES – City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, former chief of police for the City of Los Angeles, put forth a motion this week that all adult film actors should be required to wear condoms during filming.

Parks, who was the chief of police from 1997 until 2003 when he was upseated by former New York City Police Chief William J. Bratton, has stated that the current AIDS crisis in the adult industry has the potential to have a dangerous influence on the Latino and black communities. By implementing a condom-only mandate, it could possibly steer other communities and industries away from a similar crisis, says Parks.

"AIDS in the black and Latino communities is on a rampage," Parks' chief of staff told XBiz. "We saw it earlier in the late 1980s and 1990s, after which it seemed to subside. But now we're seeing a new generation of the disease that we have tried to combat and it is having its way with our community lately, whether it’s the porn community or some other community."

Parks' spokesperson went on to say that the reason behind the councilman's motion regarding the adult industry is to steer clear of an even greater national and city health crisis.

Parks' motion comes on the heels of a number of complaints from state and local officials that adult film actors should be required to use condoms, and that at present, only an estimated 30-50 percent of adult talent protect themselves from contracting HIV on film sets.

Until a mandate is put in motion as a state regulation, the Los Angeles County Health Department and other employee-protection agencies have no power to enforce worker safety policies, in this case as they pertain to adult film production.

However, the City Council and the mayor must first adopt an official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, regulations or policies in the form of a resolution before being approved by a state or federal governmental body or agency.

The motion is currently headed to the city's Arts, Park and Health Committee where it will be reviewed in terms of enforcement requirements and as potential legislation, after which it will return to the City Council for a vote. Further discussions will also require lengthy input from the county Health Department, Parks' spokesperson said.

Parks' office admits that the implementation of an industry-wide mandate enforcing the use of condoms could be tricky and would require involvement from many city agencies. The councilman's office expects that by the time the City Council comes to vote on the motion, considerable revisions may have taken place, although at that point, any step in helping to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic is a step forward.

"Nothing is ever perfect," said Parks' chief of staff. "But you try and get it to people you can help."

Parks and fellow council members have also put their weight behind a motion for a 20-minute AIDS test that allows immediate testing after suspected exposure to the HIV virus. While they have not yet discussed how the 20-minute test could help the adult entertainment industry, they are looking at the service as being widely implemented throughout the city.

Parks has stated that HIV tests that take longer and keep patients waiting can ultimately dissuade them from being tested in the first place.

Parks has tossed his hat into the mayoral candidacy ring in an effort to upseat Mayor James Hahn. Parks joins other candidates including former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg and state Sen. Richard Alarcon.

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