SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A San Jose faith group anticipates dozens will participate in a public safety rally Thursday to rally against an increase in prostitution and gang-related crime on South First Street.

The Santa Maria Urban Ministry organized the march to send a message that the community will not tolerate violent crime or the sex trade, said executive director Omar Torres.

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“Our police officers are just spread too thin,” said Torres, who sees a spike in drug dealing and gang activity as a result of layoffs at the San Jose Police Department.

“Unfortunately decisions like that have unintended consequences, and we’re seeing it now with the increase of negative activity that’s been happening on South First Street.”

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Torres described a recent walk down the boulevard where he saw sex workers plying their trade in broad daylight, something he said did not happen before.

“They had high heels. They had dresses that showed everything. And this all happening at 6 p.m.,” he said.

The march will kick off at 6:30 p.m. outside the Bibioteca Latinoamericana branch of the San Jose Public Library at 921 South First Street.

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