State official proposes to publicly shame customers patronizing women for sex
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Alderwoman Sarah Wood Martin of the 11th Ward and some residents are asking the City of St. Louis Police Department to publicly shame customers and johns patronizing women for sex.
"Arresting these women and putting them in jail overnight is not going to work," said Martin on Tuesday after she posted about the proposal on her twitter account.
In the message, the first term Alderwoman wrote, "Hey @SLMPD please post all the Johns names/addresses arrested in Ward 11."
"I think that would be a huge deterrent if we focused on going after the johns," Martin said.
"It's a supply and demand issue. We see on the news or in the paper and on police websites and it's the women every time."
Earlier this summer, police conducted multiple sting operations in that area, leading to the arrest of several prostitutes and johns.
But resident Michael Hagmeier said that more needs to be done as he has personally experienced how rampant the problem is.
"I parked at South Broadway and within about fifteen seconds or so one of them started walking up to my car and I shook my head," Hagmeier described as he waited to meet with our FOX 2 crew for an interview.
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Hagmeier said that while he understands police can't be everywhere, going to the root of the issue could be the solution to ending prostitution in his neighborhood.
"I'm more interested in police doing what's effective rather than what's easy," he said, "and I think part of the reason why prostitutes get arrested is because that's the way things have been done."
Martin said, currently she is working with the National Council of Jewish Women and Trinity Lutheran Church on a plan called 'Healing Action,' which is meant to invite the public to open forums that would educate residents about the issue.
"I would like to see the police to see this as more of a mental health care issue," Martin continued, "I know that's not specifically their job but if they want to help combat this, they will have to take a different approach than just locking these women up."