RPD operation on 23rd St. offers resources, assistance to prostitutes

RPD operation on 23rd Street attempts to provide resources, assistance to prostitutes
All photos from the operation courtesy of the Richmond Police Department.

The Richmond Police Department’s ongoing efforts to address the prostitution problem on 23rd Street last weekend included an operation that sent bicycle and foot patrol officers to the strip to offer assistance and resources, police said.

Officers “contacted 20 young women along 23rd Street and offered them options to steer away from being out on the streets,” Richmond police spokesman Lt. Felix Tan reported.

The police operation also addressed suspected prostitution incidents, busting suspects trying to pick up prostitutes.

Merchants and neighbors have long decried the pervasive problem on 23rd Street. Police and members of the community have stepped up efforts to address the issue. There is debate, as well, over ways to improve the corridor in a way that will deter crime and benefit merchants. One idea being mulled is possibly implementing a community-driven streetscape improvement plan to clean up the corridor.

On June 27, a community forum involving law enforcement officials, merchants and neighbors is set to take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hall, 968 23rd St., in order to discuss the prostitution problem.

Community advocate Cesar Zepeda says a merchants breakfast is being planned on June 26 on the same topic.

Meanwhile, police are encouraging community members who see any suspected human trafficking incidents to dial 911 or (510) 233-1214.