Embarrassment part of Fresno's crackdown on prostitution

FRESNO, Calif.

According to prostitutes who work this street, lately it's been saturated with women desperate to make money. Now, a new plan by Fresno Police is targeting men, hoping the consequence will curb the crime.

Even in near triple digit heat, foot traffic is steady along /*Parkway Drive*/. This 34 year old woman has worked the streets of Fresno for the past two years.

Sontaya: "How is business out here?"

Prostitute: "It's slow, there's a lot of girls out here, a lot of girls from out of state, out of town."

Fresno Police Chief /*Jerry Dyer*/ is hoping a new tactic called "/*Operation Reveal*/" will make business even slower.

Those who are cited will have their pictures and crimes listed on a city of Fresno website for the public to see for 15 days. The chief thinks the "mugshot factor" will make men think twice.

"Of all the things that we are going to do, it is the number one deterrent to prostitution in our city," said Chief Dyer. "And it's been very effective in other cities as well."

ABC30 Legal Analyst /*Tony Capozzi*/ says the policy is legally sound. But, he questions whether it will really discourage men from making that criminal choice.

"I don't think it makes anyone think twice," said Capozzi. "I don't think the men that go out and solicit a hooker are thinking about what's going to happen to them if they get caught. One, I don't think they are thinking about getting caught and two the ramifications are not thought of at the time."

Fresno Police are already finding, many prostitutes don't want to be under their watchful eye. So they are leaving to cities like San Jose, where budget cuts have eliminated vice units.

This prostitute is fine with the increased efforts.

Sontaya: "How do you feel about police cracking down on your business?

Prostitute: "They got a job to do just like I do. I respect them for what they do."

As part of Fresno's new operation, reserve officers will also pressure prostitutes, by following them around to make it tougher to do business.

Chief Dyer said, "It is my hope that with our increased effort in the city of Fresno we will drive /*prostitution*/ out of the city of Fresno."

Police also plan to focus on pimps for their role in the trade. Many prostitutes told Action News, they are also getting written up more than usual.

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