In the six weeks after the Houston Police Department changed tactics for policing prostitution, 30 people have been arrested and charged with felony prostitution. Almost 100 more have been handed misdemeanor charges. Several others have been charged with promotion of prostitution, reports the Houston Chronicle. “Arrests go up and down, but we’re interested in effects, not the numbers specifically,” Capt. Dan Harris of the vice division said when the policy was changed. Harris described a new philosophy in combating vice crimes that relied less on huge sting operations and instead focused on a partnership approach to curbing the problem.
An alliance dubbed LEVICE – Law Enforce Vice Initiative Collaboration and Enforcement – was formed, which included members from several local law enforcement agencies. The police department held training sessions for local officers and deputy constables working vice crimes. The alliance also has been working closely with Minal Patel Davis, Mayor Annise Parker’s special adviser on human trafficking. “We can arrest prostitutes all day long,” Harris said, “but there will be more coming in to take their place. Let’s work smarter, not harder.”