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Fighting Prostitution: Sex business interrupted by barricades
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Concrete barricades go up Wednesday to make it more difficult for Johns to pick up prostitutes.
Neighbors complain about everything the sale of sex brings with it; from trash, to heroin needles, to violence. And when it comes to interfering with traffic, these barricades have worked before. In the morning, prostitutes wait on steps off McMicken, or 'McTrickin' if you live on the street because of all the tricks turned by prostitutes. They were not there Wednesday morning where known prostitute Jessica Revelee was murdered in January. But police were there and city maintenance putting concrete barricades in place.
A known prostitute hurried past the cement barricade put in place to hurt business. It's a simple concept that worked here on Green Street in Over-The-Rhine. Customers looking to buy drugs couldn't drive past barricades to the dealers. On McMicken a different business is being addressed, but the same crime-fighting tool.
Lt. Col. James Whalen of the Cincinnati Police tells Local 12, "When they encounter something other than normal ability to flow through, a lot of times they turn around, go away, find someplace else to go. It reduces crime."
Crime including murder. Then there is the litter including needles. If barricades make it go away, Brenda Beamon is all in.
Beamon tells Deb Dixon, "Won't nobody get killed out here like the young lady thrown out in street. The kids can come out and play, ride bikes."
The barricades will break up McMicken.
Cincinnati Police Captain Mike John said, "It's going to form cul-de-sacs. Have people feel good that this is my home, take ownership and let them know we care what's going on here."
But Pastor Jim Turner said, "I seen the barricades, I don't think it will affect them one bit."
Pastor Turner and wife, Letha, run Lord's Gym that includes a prostitution ministry, helping hookers get off the streets. Turner believes the sex addiction of Johns and the heroin addiction of prostitutes is stronger than concrete.
Former prostitute Sam agrees, "I don't think it will stop for long maybe a couple of weeks if that."
The barricades are short-term. Police are working with judges to treat prostitutes as victims who need help, not jail. Will it work? Worked on Green and Pendleton. While Local 12's Deb Dixon was there Wednesday out of a few cars pulling, up some of them turned around quickly. We will have to wait and see if they decide it's not worth it to come back
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