Seattle police officers Brian Taylor, Joel Banks, and Andy Conner have turned their jobs of busting pimps and johns into a passionate crusade to save victims of the sex trade, reports the Seattle Times. “We wanted to do more than put the bad guys in jail. [ ] It’s personal for us. It’s way more than a job,” said Taylor, a father of five. The three men pooled their own money and appealed to their individual churches, along with 150 other congregations, to help create The Genesis Project, a drop-in center where a cup of coffee and a hot shower can become a starting point for a woman to chart her way out of the life.
The wives of two of the cops have also become deeply involved with the center. Prostitution isn’t the victimless crime that law enforcement — and the larger community — long assumed it was, said Conner. “Once I figured out the lives they’re leading are horrific, that changed my perspective,” he said of the young women he’s met on the streets. “It’s a rescue mission.” Staffed by female volunteers, including six survivors of the sex trade, The Genesis Project has operated on a shoestring since August, opening only when a girl or woman indicates to an officer that she’s amenable to the help being offered.