I’ve just discovered a great website called VICE News.

As a lawyer who represents a variety of clients in what would be considered “vice activity,” such as nightclubs, strip clubs, and owners of adult bookstores here in Oklahoma City, I come in frequent contact with the Vice division of OCPD.  And so it’s nice to occasionally read about what’s new in the world of vice.  Or as Vice.com puts it, “the definitive guide to enlightening information.”  I like how they put it.

What is a vice anyway?

My general understanding is that a “vice” is a negative quality that a person possesses.  The opposite of a virtue.  And over time, humans have generally ascribed bad habits as being a vice, such as smoking or drinking.

Here’s the wikipedia definition:

“Vice is a practice, behavior, or habit generally considered immoral, sinful, depraved, or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a negative character trait, a defect, an infirmity, or a bad or unhealthy habit (such as an addiction to smoking). Synonyms for vice include fault, sin, depravity, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption.”

Interesting that in Oklahoma City, like many other cities, have a group of detectives and patrol officers assigned to police vice activities.

So then what is a vice detective?  Someone who investigates child abuse?  Domestic violence?  No, a vice detective is often a cop who works after-hours, policing night clubs, strip clubs, and places where women in the oldest profession tend to frequent.  They also will investigate naughty book stores that sell certain explicit material.

Remember my blog post explaining how Happy Hours are illegal?  That could be considered a vice activity, and although the happy hour laws only apply to drinks other than low-point beer (and thus a primarily ABLE Commission responsibility), it is not uncommon for OCPD Vice to investigate such activities, and refer violations to the ABLE Commission.

I suppose the real question is do we really need a department assigned to policing “vice” activity?  And is the entire concept of vice crimes subjective anyway?

Post your thoughts on the comments section.