Vallejo Residents Form ‘Ho Patrol’

VALLEJO, Calif. — Vallejo residents are coming together to fight prostitution along Sonoma Boulevard.“We establish presence, we take back our neighborhood,” said Ruth Rooney, one of many people who live near Sonoma Blvd.Rooney is also part of a Neighborhood Watch that patrols the streets in an effort to push prostitutes out of their neighborhood. They call themselves the ‘Ho Patrol.’Residents have even started taking pictures of prostitutes to help document the problem and provide evidence for police.A local businessman says the problem is so bad, it drove the previous business in his building out.“The previous owner closed up shop because the prostitutes were scaring his business away,” said David Taylor, whose shop is located right on Sonoma Blvd.“It’s the worst right at this intersection,” added Taylor as he points to the corner.

The Vallejo Police Department says the number of officers on the street has been reduced from 155 to 90 since the city filed for bankruptcy.The reduction, officers tell KCRA 3, means patrolling for prostitutes is a low priority.Some officers said it’s not just the number of prostitutes that have increased, it’s how bold they have become.”They’ve become more flagrant,” said Sgt. Jeff Bassett, an officer who used to work overnight shift.”Some officers tell me they have seen the numbers of prostitutes double,” added Bassett.With little to stop them, Vallejo residents said prostitutes are coming from other cities, and even other states to work the streets.Police said prostitution does affect the quality of life for residents, and they are not surprised to see residents dealing with the problem themselves.Bassett told KCRA that in the last six to eight weeks they have arrested six to eight prostitutes, but that the problem is much bigger than they have resources for.


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