09/18/06 — Still more to do on city vice clean up

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Still more to do on city vice clean up

By Lee Williams
Published in News on September 18, 2006 1:52 PM

It won't be easy to eliminate prostitution in Goldsboro, but some officials say recent crackdown efforts have made a considerable impact.

Goldsboro police kicked off a massive crackdown effort dubbed "Operation Clean Streets" in May 2006. Capt. Al King is leading the effort that targets prostitutes and johns -- the men who solicit prostitutes.

"Our focus is supply and demand," said King of the GPD's Operations Division.

Police rounded up about 30 prostitutes and 15 johns since Operation Clean Streets began. The results from the crackdown are encouraging.

"It's made a significant impact," King said. "It's not through. We're going to keep doing this."

Neighbors complained that prostitutes streamed up and down Elm and Walnut streets all day, and they did not like it. Prostitution also was a problem on A, Leslie, Kornegay, John and Carolina streets, so police decided to investigate.

"Complaints started rolling in, and that's when we started to take a look at it and set up some stings," King said.

Police used various tactics to round up the offenders. In some instances, undercover women police officers posed as prostitutes in various hotspots to apprehend the johns.

King indicated the sting has a 100 percent conviction rate, and he added some of the prostitutes and johns are now calling the state's prison facilities home.

King encouraged residents with similar complaints about prostitution to call the police department.

"Anytime there's suspicious activity, we'll be happy to check it out," King said.

Some neighbors like Henry King on Elm Street say prostitution in the area is not as prevalent as it used to be since the sting operation began, but added the job of eradicating that societal ill from the community is not over. There's still some work to do.

"The streets were clean, but now it seems to be picking up again," King said. "It's not as thick as it used to be, but they're out there. I see them when I leave for work in the morning at 7 a.m."

King said he occasionally spots the streetwalkers on Leslie Street, but added prostitution is definitely a problem on Slocumb Street and Olivia Lane. He stated the prostitutes love to hang out on the corner, that's why he said he avoids that area at all costs.