More National Exposure for Dallas PD’s Efforts to Treat Prostitutes as Victims, Not Criminals

We’ve written quite a bit about the Dallas Police Department’s efforts to treat prostitutes not as criminals, but as victims: In ’06, Jesse Hyde profiled the so-called “whore cop” who works truck stops; two years later, he wrote about the Letot Center, where minors on the run from their pimps are offered safe haven. In November, Megan, working on a cover story for the paper version of Unfair Park that runs next week, attended the first National Prostitute Diversion Conference at the Old Red Courthouse, where DPD Sgt. Louis Felini’s Prostitute Diversion Initiative was hailed as a national role model. And last month, Sgt. Byron Fassett, who created the department’s High Risk Victim and Trafficking Unit and child exploitation squad, was brought to D.C. by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon to discuss how DPD tends to “the forgotten children” victimized by sex trafficking.

The Associated Press follows up this morning with a lengthy piece, in addition to a video, that ties all those things together. And while there’s been only limited success so far (“about half of the 375 women have chosen rehab, and just 21 have turned their lives around”), there are signs that DPD’s efforts are accruing interest in other cities, among them Atlanta and Fort Worth.



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