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September 19, 2016

Oakland Creates 'See Something/Say Something' Website Targeting Prostitutes

OAKLAND, Calif.—Remember way back in June, when the news first broke that a number of Oakland police had been having sex with an underage prostitute—whose mother just happened to be an Oakland police dispatcher—and had been protecting her from being busted by feeding her inside information on upcoming raids? That little fracas resulted one cop committing suicide, Oakland going through three (count 'em, three!) police chiefs in the course of one week, and in seven cops from Oakland, San Francisco and Contra Costa County being indicted—and the girl herself, now an adult, suing the city for $66 million, claiming that the cops had treated her as a sex slave. After all that, what's a thriving Bay Area city to do? Why, take a tip from the Department of Homeland Security ... and create a website that lets any citizen who thinks he or she has "seen something"—that is, prostitution-like activity occurring—to "say something" via an online form. "This website allows you to report vehicles soliciting or attempting to engage in illicit sexual activity," reads the front page of the reportjohn.org website. "Based on information you provide, the Oakland Police Department will send a letter to the registered owner stating that the vehicle has been observed in an area known to have high incidences of sexual exploitation and trafficking." From there, the site will accept any photos the complainer may have taken of the "suspect vehicle," its make, model, color and license number (including state), at what address the activity occurred, a description of the driver ("A tall white male wearing a blue uniform with a patch reading 'Oakland PD'"?) and a description of the activity observed—and an optional 14th question, "How easy was this to use?" "The hope is that they will think twice and this will deter them," said Lt. Jill Encinias of the Oakland Police Department. "We really need to attack this problem from all sides. We need to start focusing on the demand." Perhaps the first place to start might be the Oakland Police locker room!  

 
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