The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department wants to put an end to prostitution once and for all, darn it! And they're going to do it with the help of bright yellow postcards.
Captain Dan Howard of the SLMPD's 1st precinct says people in Carondelet and Holly Hills are sick and tired of prostitutes walking the streets, so he's going to put them out of business with a public-shaming campaign. People arrested for prostitution and solicitation will get a snarky postcard informing them of their court date.
Here's what the card says:
"Thanks for your visit to (address) on (date). The city of St. Louis, its residents and your neighbors would like to remind you that lewd, lascivious and/or suggestive behavior (including but not limited to prostitution, solicitation and prostitution loitering) are a violation of city ordinance and state law."
The postcard also informs readers that engaging in sexual activity with prostitutes can result in sexually transmitted diseases.
Although people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in the United States of America, the SLMPD hopes everyone on the suspect's block, including their family, sees the postcard. And just in case they don't, the police will make a concerted effort to get suspects' pictures blasted all over local media.
"This is not meant to 'humiliate' or 'embarrass' anybody -- those are words other people are using. This is meant to educate people." Howard tells Daily RFT.
But what if a suspect's family members happen to read it?
"Their family will know somebody in that household shouldn't miss a court date," says Harvey. "And whoever reads it will know that there's certain parts of the city that if you engage in certain types of activities that you can gain an STD."
For Howard, the strategy is simple economics: shame -- or "educate" -- the demand, and you eliminate the supply.
If prostitutes didn't have customers, they'd be put out of business. My goal is to put them out of business. Going after johns.— Captain Dan Howard (@CaptainDan301) April 14, 2014
It's something that thousands of years of religious institutions have not been able to accomplish, but what the hell? Why not give this a whirl? It's not like it hasn't been done before.
Click on the next page for more talk about prostitutes, johns and cops...