City Officials Announce ‘Operation Reveal’ to Crack Down on Prostitution
Fresno, CA – Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Councilmember Clinton Olivier today announced the launch of “Operation Reveal,” a new initiative to crack down on prostitution by focusing both on prostitutes and their customers.
As part of Operation Reveal, photographs of people arrested and charged in connection with prostitution-related offenses will be posted on a Police Department website -- (http://www.fresno.gov/reveal) -- for 15 days. The effort also includes a number of other strategies to address the prostitution issue.
“The crime of prostitution clearly impacts our businesses, our neighborhoods and the quality of life in our city,” Mayor Swearengin said. “Operation Reveal recognizes that we can’t solve this issue simply by dealing with the prostitutes. Customers also are contributing to the problem, so we need to focus our efforts on them as well.”
“Prostitution is not a victimless crime,” Chief Dyer said. “Revealing the identity of ‘Johns’ and the impact prostitution has on our community will go a long way toward reducing this activity. “
"Blackstone Avenue is open for business, and the City of Fresno is committed to making it is a safe place to shop, dine out and welcome out-of-town guests,” Councilmember Olivier said. “I applaud the Administration for its dedication to the heart of our city."
In addition to posting photos on the website, strategies in Operation Reveal include:
· Shadowing prostitutes in target zones to deter potential “johns”;
· Enforcing the Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution (SOAP) restraining orders;
· Undercover “John” and “Jane” operations to target both the prostitutes and those patronizing them;
· Targeting pimps involved in human trafficking;
· Coordinating the prosecution of these sex-related crimes with the City Attorney, District Attorney and United States Attorney;
· Utilization of the first time offenders Prostitution Abatement Rehabilitation (PAR) program; and
· Assisting the victims of prostitution with resources from the community and faith-based groups
City Council also has agreed to fund a position in the City Attorney’s Office that will spend a portion of its time prosecuting municipal code violations such as loitering for the purpose of prostitution.
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