SAN BERNARDINO – A police vice unit squad, conducting a three-day citywide prostitution sweep, netted 41 arrests on various charges that included 30 acts of solicitation.
San Bernardino Police Lt. Ron Maass of the Specialized Enforcement Bureau confirmed the sweep on Monday, saying, “It was a combination street program and an outcall program where we contact those individuals advertising on the internet for prostitution.”
It’s the fourth annual program of this type, said Maass, “originally designed to coincide with the FBI’s ‘Innocence Lost’ program.”
The program covered all areas of the city. Besides the 30 arrests for solicitation, seven more were arrested for assisting prostitution, two for pimping, one for possession of methamphetamine and one for attempted sex with a 16-year-old.
According to Maass, “The subject that was charged with attempted sexual intercourse with a minor involved an undercover officer.”
Maass said, “We have received numerous complaints from citizens and business owners regarding the level of prostitution activity in various sections of the city.”
Most of those, he said, came in the form of “we-tips” and anonymous complaints on the city-hosted San Bernardino Access online website. Maass said, “We have been expanding our efforts each year.”
He said the annual program shows the city stands tough on prostitution-related crimes, saying, “We’re taking active steps to improve the quality of life throughout the city.”
Maass did not identify the officers with the department’s Narcotics Unit, which also participated, or the Vice Unit, saying, “We typically do not like to discuss the composition and scope of the team involved to minimize the opportunity for those targeted to adjust their actions, thereby reducing our effectiveness.”
All suspects were taken to San Bernardino County jail facilities.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino police arrest 41 in prostitution sweep
The Press Enterprise, San Bernardino: 41 caught in prostitution dragnet