What to Know
- A crackdown on prostitution in a northern NJ city ended with 44 arrests in a neighborhood plagued by complaints of prostitution, police said
- According to the Paterson Police Department, residents have complained of prostitution taking place in a Paterson neighborhood at all hours
- City officials have a stern warning to those involved in prostitution or soliciting prostitution: “stay out of Paterson”
An undercover crackdown on prostitution in a northern New Jersey city ended with a total of 44 arrests in a neighborhood plagued by complaints of prostitution at all hours -- and a stern warning by officials to those involved in prostitution or soliciting prostitution to “stay out of Paterson.”
According to the Paterson Police Department, residents have consistently complained of prostitution taking place in the vicinity of Van Houten Street and East 18th Street.
Police say the complaints specified that individuals continue to loiter in a number of locations openly soliciting passersby for sexual acts in exchange for money at all times of the day and night.
In response to the complaints a subsequent investigation was conducted.
According to police, the investigation was a two-phase operation. The first phase involved undercover detectives acting as “johns” soliciting prostitution while the second phase consisted of undercover officers acting as “prostitutes” being solicited by passersby for sexual acts in exchange for money, police say.
The operation was conducted on Tuesday by the Paterson Police Department ABC/Vice unit and the Narcotics Division and resulted in a total of 44 arrests.
According to police, of the arrests made, 12 were alleged prostitutes, 25 were alleged “johns," one was a narcotics arrest and six other arrests involved narcotics, aggravated assault on a police officer and obstruction of governmental function.
The alleged prostitutes arrested ranged in age from 25 to 55 while the alleged "johns" arrested ranged in age from 19 to 78, police say.
Additionally, police say a total of 38 criminal charges were filed and during the course of the operation four baggies of marijuana and 12 glassines of heroin were recovered.
“Prostitution has no place in Paterson and our police department proved it last night,” Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said.
Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale Jr. shared similar sentiments, warning that the identities of those involved in prostitution or soliciting prostitution will be made public through photographs.
“In the future, we will release the photographs of all involved in prostitution and in soliciting prostitution to the media,” Speziale said. “Stay out of Paterson for illegal prostitution. The message should be loud and clear we will continue to increase our efforts. “