10/11/2013 – Buffalo, NY — Men who get arrested for soliciting prostitution in Buffalo are now getting some unwanted attention – JohnTV style!
This month the Buffalo Police Department began a ‘campaign of shame’ dubbed ‘Operation Reveal.’
Starting in October, the mugshots and names of arrested alleged ‘Johns’ are now posted on the Police Department’s website and made available to the media for widespread publication.
“This is a campaign of shame against johns that has been done in other cities with some success to cut off the market for prostitution. If people want to come into Buffalo from the suburbs looking for prostitutes, they can expect that … they will be arrested … have their vehicle seized and … have their picture posted on our website,” Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said last Friday.
Police say that for many years residence in areas known for the persistent presence of street prostitutes have complained that the activity attracts strangers to their area, drug dealers, violence and opportunistic criminals.
So far police have arrested more than 35 individuals.
Mayor Byron W. Brown said the initiative is aimed at taking the profits out of prostitution. Brown said suburban johns are the culprits that perpetuate prostitution.
“They are coming from outside the city, and we want to stop this criminal behavior and with it reduce other types of crimes in the city,” Brown said.
Reportedly, residents in neighborhoods harmed by prostitution cheered the decision to single out johns.
A sting called “Operation Flush the Johns” in Nassau County, Long Island, two months ago resulted in the arrests of 104 suspected johns and the publishing of their photos and names.
“Not only do people have a right to know who their prosecutors and police are arresting and charging with crimes, but we know that the commission of specific crimes is dramatically affected by the perceived risk of getting caught,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice said.
To those who claim prostitution is a ‘victimless crime’ the city points to quality of life concerns and even the safety of the women involved in prostitution.
Recently police report that an undercover female officer was approached and threatened with violence by a local pimp that told her she had to pay him to prostitute in the area.
The alleged pimp, Ikqual LaValley, 30, was arrested by members of a surveillance team and charged with promotion of prostitution.
The mugshot postings come with the following disclaimer;
All of the pictured males have been arrested on a penal law charge of patronizing a prostitute. There is a presumption of innocence, until proven guilty under the law.
Detractors to the public shaming claim that the one’s who ultimately suffer needlessly are the wives and children of the exposed ‘Johns.’
Below is a screen grab from the initial 61 mugshots posted to the Buffalo Police Department’s website.
If you are aware of other municipalities that utilize public shaming in an attempt to positively impact prostitution crimes, please contact JohnTV with a link to more information.