The Bell Gardens City Council has signed an agreement with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for the county to inspect massage parlors and check applicants for massage licenses.
Under the agreement, the county will inspect the two massage parlors now in business in the city and evaluate permits for future operations. Also, county officials will conduct examinations of applicants for massage parlor technician licenses. In return, the city will police the establishments for illegal activity.
Earlier this year in Cudahy, two acupressure parlors were cited for prostitution. That city's council voted last month to outlaw the establishment of massage and acupressure parlors.
The Bell Gardens ordinance that makes licensing of massage parlors tougher is designed to curb the use of massage parlors for prostitution within the city, officials said.
"We have had some problems in our city," City Manager Claude Booker said. "We actually closed one of (the massage parlors) as a result" of several arrests last year.