Fed up with prostitution, folks in one Southside Richmond neighborhood are asking the city's top cop what's being done to stop the crime.
In a community meeting Thursday night, Richmond police chief Ray Tarasovic admitted the department hasn't been aggressively targeting prostitution but, with 26 murders this year, officers are focused on keeping violent crime down.
Even with the violent crime, residents, like Tracy Jarman, say more needs to be done to reduce illegal sex on the streets. Just days ago, Jarman caught a prostitute with a man in his driveway.
“I've got a five year old daughter and I've got a pond on my property,” said Jarman. “I take her down there fishing, she sees what they leave in the driveway and asks me, ‘What is this daddy?’”
Tarasovic admits limited resources and officers have pushed prostitution to the side but he says the crime isn't being completely ignored.
“What would you say to those people that say there's not enough police officers and they’re not out here?” asked 8News Senior Reporter Nate Eaton.
“We're working at it every day,” responded Tarasovic. “Again - it's a matter of altering focus.”
For the second night in a row, we were able to spot several prostitutes on Jefferson Davis highway. One woman, who says she's not actively involved in the business, tells us men try to stop her all the time.
“I be like, ‘Go on about your business cause I don't have time for that,’” said the woman. “I don't do all those prostituting things - having sex for money and all that. I'd rather get a job.”
Neighbors say now is the time to act and are calling on police and all city leaders to do something.
“It's out of hand,” said Jarman. “Either they need to do something or we have to start sticking together to take care of it ourselves.”
RPD Chief Ray Tarasovic is holding a community meeting this Saturday at Boushall Middle School where he says prostitution and other crimes will be addressed. It will be held from 9am until 2pm. Everyone is invited to attend.
Stay with 8News for updates on this situation, we'll provide updates on air and online as they become available.
301 Arboretum Place, Richmond
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