Nov 20, 2014
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A Los Angeles Times story posted Thursday morning might cause some to believe the Richmond Police Department has scrapped its controversial john shaming program.

It has not.

The program, started earlier this year, aims to battle prostitution, particularly human trafficking, by posting the names and photos of suspected johns on social media, and also by sending letters to their homes that could end up intercepted by significant others.

The Times apparently took interest in the program because Orange County prosecutors are implementing a somewhat similar initiative. Its story, however, is written in a way that makes it appear the RPD has shut down its program. Here’s how the piece begins:

gagan.11-20The Times article later suggested RPD’s john-shaming program was a “brief experiment with social media.”

Even though Gagan expressed doubt about its effectiveness, the program has not been discontinued.

We contacted the captain Thursday morning for clarification. He told us the RPD plans to continue to use the department’s Facebook page to post the names and photos of johns.

“In the future, we will only put the arrests out on Facebook, then remove the content after 72 hours,” Gagan said.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.