OKC Police Seek New Fines For Prostitution
Jennifer Pierce, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City police are cracking down on prostitutes and Johns. They could lose their wheels under a new ordinance. Police told News 9 it's worked to cut down on other crimes so they're giving it another shot.
A car that's used in a police pursuit or drive-by shooting can be impounded for 90 days, and on Tuesday, city council voted to include vehicles used for prostitution.
This part of Oklahoma City is known to attract prostitutes, pimps and Johns. People who live here see it every day.
"Everyday, everyday. It's terrible," Karen Kaniatobe said.
Kaniatobe not only recognizes faces, but the cars involved.
"I know who belongs to who," Kaniatobe said.
Police will now be able to impound those cars for 90 days and fine the offender up to $1,900 and make them pay the towing bill.
The Oklahoma City police chief said the steep fine is used for other crimes, and it works.
"It's seems to be somewhat of a deterrent in regards to pursuits in the last couple years. Our pursuits have been reduced," Chief Bill Citty said,
Brian Bates, the video vigilante, documents prostitution in Oklahoma City.
"I've seen lots of cities go down these roads," Brian Bates said.
His camera may scare them off for a moment, but he doesn't think the new ordinance will keep anyone off the streets for good.
"If a john isn't thinking about his wife, if a john isn't thinking about his job, if a john isn't thinking about the legal consequences, a john is not thinking about a car and the fact it may be impounded," Bates said.
But people who live here are ready to see how it works.
"If they don't have a car to drive they don't have a way to do their business," Kaniatobe said.
Now if the impounded car does not belong to the alleged offender, the owner can get it out of impoundment at no cost. There is also an appeals process for the offender.
The city council said the ordinance is set to go into effect in 30 days.