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Police Say Prostitution On The Rise In San Jose

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Prostitutes walk along a sidewalk.

Prostitutes walk along a sidewalk. (AP)

SAN JOSE (CBS 5) — As with many police departments in the Bay Area, budget cuts have left fewer officers on the streets. Some San Jose Police officers say the cutbacks are attracting prostitutes to several hot spots in the city.

Since July 1st, 38 prostitutes and 2 johns have been arrested, and a total of 40 people have been cited for loitering and solicitation. In the wake of massive budget cuts and layoffs, officers have been called in on their day off to help deal with the problem.

“We have pimps coming up from Fresno as well as coming down from the Oakland area to ply their trade,” said George Beattie, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “They look at it as a business opportunity.”

The rise in prostitution became a hot-button issue when the police union wrote an op-ed piece in the San Jose Mercury News titled “San Jose Is Becoming Sin City.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed responded, “Well that’s kind of ridiculous when you compare us to any other city. We have our problems, but we’re nowhere near as bad as Oakland, San Francisco or any other big city in the state of California or the United States of America.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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