ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford Police say they’re going undercover to fight prostitution. Broadway is known for its problems with prostitution, but Police Chief Chet Epperson says that won’t be the case much longer. Officers are starting to do undercover stings two to three times a week.
Over the weekend, eight women were arrested for soliciting undercover cops. Police Chief Chet Epperson says he decided to step up enforcement in the area after hearing complaints from aldermen and business owners who say the prostitution problem is bad for business. Ron Lund, who owns the Thrifty Boutique Resale Shoppe on 7th and Broadway says he gets a lot of calls from customers asking if it’s safe to shop at his store. He hopes the stings make a difference.
Hopefully, if it doesn’t stop, maybe they’ll move to a different area which is fine with us too, but we’d like to see, we have enough laws in place if they enforce the laws we have you know and get them out of here,” said Lund.
According to Police, prostitutes who are arrested multiple times and charged with felony prostitution usually spend between nine and 18 months in jail.
The Police Department says officers are also doing daily foot patrols in the Broadway area to cut down on crime.