Knoxville led the state last year in the of per capita prostitution-related arrests and citations, with police charging offenders at a higher rate than in larger cities such as Nashville and Memphis.
InKnoxville Police Department officers filed charges at roughly double the rate of police in Nashville, slightly more than those in Memphis and at five times the rate of police in Chattanooga. What the s can't offer is whether there has been an upsurge in the of hookers working locally, if the high arrest rate is the result of aggressive enforcement, or perhaps a mixture of both.
Sinceat least people - mostly women - have been arrested or cited at least once in Knoxville for selling sex, according to court records.
Another people - mostly men - have been charged with buying it. KPD Lt. Dusty Lane and Officer Scott Noe, both of whom work regularly in East Knoxville, said there seemed to be a noticeable increase in streetwalkers around and They blamed a wave of crack cocaine addiction that in turn led to an increase in complaints filed by citizens, all of which translated into more busts. KPD Capt. Gary Holliday, however, doubts the of prostitutes actually changed much over the years.
The girls have changed for the most part, although there are a few girls on the street who were out there 15 years ago. No, we'll never stop it, but we sure can enforce the laws. Sincethe Knox County Sheriff's Office has filed 40 prostitution-related charges.
Unlike KPD, which is tasked with patrolling Knoxville's inner city neighborhoods, the Sheriff's Office jurisdiction consists primarily of rural and suburban areas that don't attract streetwalkers. Most of the Sheriff's Office arrests in recent years have been women selling themselves at truck stops off Interstates 40 and 75, women who are often referred to by the slang term "lot lizards," according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley.
According to Holliday, the high arrest rates within the city limits stem from Chief Sterling P. Owen IV's decision to make busting prostitutes a top priority because of frequent complaints from business owners and residents.
Holliday also said that Knoxville might place a higher priority on prostitution than do other Tennessee cities. Perhaps Knoxville uses different strategies that drive up arrests, he said.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron, however, said his agency is relentless in its pursuit of prostitution in all its forms, whether it be streetwalkers or independent escorts advertising on Web sites like Craigslist. Nashville police began aggressively cracking down on prostitution in through the use of frequent undercover stings and by padlocking adult businesses as public nuisances, Aaron said.
Also, the department posts color photographs of men arrested for trying to buy sex on its Web site as a deterrent. Any of those six units may decide to do a prostitution sting any given day.
Chattanooga spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary said her city doesn't have a serious problem with prostitution. But pros, we don't have any here. Get the new News Sentinel app. Local News.
Rachel Bozeman is led toward custody by Officer Nikki Caldwell after Bozeman was arrested and charged with prostitution near Magnolia Avenue on April Posted: June 28, Posted: June 28, 0. Latest Photo Galleries.
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