Police captain responds to complaints about 23rd Street prostitution

Photo courtesy of the Richmond Police Department

The Richmond police captain for the Northern District recently responded to complaints from residents about prostitution on 23rd Street. Here’s what Capt. Al Walle posted on social media today:

“Beat 7 Residents,

Recently there have been several people posting on social media about the prostitution problem along the 23rd Street corridor. I’m the Northern District captain and the responsibility to address this issue lies solely on me so I apologize for not having met your expectations. Prostitution is a complex issue and I’ve used a multitude of strategies to address the problem. We regularly conduct prostitution stings with a specific focus, e.g. arresting pimps, arresting prostitutes in order to place them on geographic probation, conducting outreach to provide prostitutes with services, conducting directed traffic enforcement to deter cruising etc. During these operations our officer’s number one focus always remains on rescuing victims of human trafficking, especially those who are juveniles.

I often post some of the good work our officers are doing on my Facebook page but that’s only a fraction of the good work they do everyday. I’m proud of the work our officers are doing and to say that we don’t care about the prostitution problem is simply not true. I encourage you to do a ride along with our Beat 7 officers in order to see how hard they work. I guarantee that you’ll walk away inspired by their professionalism and dedication. I’ll admit that I don’t have all the answers but can assure you that I’m doing my best to manage my resources and to develop strategies that are measurable and evidence based.

One poster suggested organizing a protest at the police department to demonstrate disapproval about my response to the prostitution problem. While you’re free to protest, please don’t do that as it will draw away resources from other hotspots in the city. If you ever want to discuss any district related issues with me directly please contact me at (510) 620-6990 or awalle@richmondpd.net. My work schedule is Monday – Friday from 10 am – 6 pm, but I also respond to emails after hours. I appreciate your support and look forward to a continued dialogue on this issue.”