Prostitution Problem in Williston | VideoEvan Kruegel | 1/8/2013
"The Williston Police Department`s calls for service for prostitution is at a steady increase, and we`d like to address that,” said Detective David Peterson.
But there`s no easy fix. Local police are already understaffed and strapped for time, and a prostitution sting requires a large amount of undercover and uniformed officers. Without a sting, prostitution is very difficult to convict.
"There`s elements to an offense, and you have to build probable cause to make that arrest. And a misdemeanor that doesn`t happen in an officer`s presence is very difficult to build the elements on."
One local resident who sees it happening on a regular basis is taxi-cab driver Pamela Enno, who parks in front of bars and hotels on weekend nights. "I never see them return back into the building, but at a different drop-off or pick-up at various businesses. The same woman will walk out with a different male."
She says they don`t travel far to perform the transaction. "Right in the parking lot, I see it right in the parking lot"
How obvious is it?
"They`re not even hiding it. They`re not even hiding it at all."
She says the stories she hears from men in the backseat of her cab are equally disturbing. "They`ll complain: `Man, I don`t have 250 bucks, I only have 200 and she wouldn`t take me.` Things like that."
Police agree with Enno that it`s happening all over, right in the public eye.
"We`ve had calls for service for prostitution at hotels, motels, at lounges, at parking areas for trucks, we`ve responded to all those areas for alleged prostitution occurring."
As for a large sting, police say it`s now in the works. So while it may be a high-reward low-risk crime, females soliciting their bodies for money could soon find themselves behind bars.