Prostitution problems persist in Albany

Published: May. 21, 2009 at 3:19 AM EDT|Updated: May. 29, 2009 at 4:47 PM EDT
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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's called the world's oldest profession and more people in Albany are making a living at it. Law enforcers say prostitution is a growing problem that's moving out of seedy motels and into neighborhoods and business districts. They say they're now cracking down more on prostitutes and pimps.

It's a neighborhood where kids get on and off school buses and businesses set up shop. "It's a good neighborhood," said West Highland resident Michael Hudson.

A holy cross even sits near the road. "Everybody gets along around here pretty good," said Hudson. But people who live here say things change at night time along West Highland Avenue.

"Oh when the night falls, you see everything," said Theodis Hollis.

"You have your robberies.  You have your prostitutes," said Hudson.

Hudson says it's constant and his cousin Theodis agrees. "This has been going on since before my time," said Hudson.

"Offering sex. They're stealing. I mean, everything on this block," said Hollis. They see everything on this one block for three reasons.

"Money, sex and drugs," said Hudson.

"The money is either paid to them and they go buy drugs or they want you to buy the drugs and give it to them before they perform any acts," said Major Bill Berry with the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit.

The illegal sex acts have picked up recently. "It's a tremendous problem. I didn't realize how widespread of a problem it was," said Berry. It's so much of a problem that a little more than a week ago investigators launched an undercover sting.

"And arrested ten and a couple of pimps that were brokering the prostitutes," said Berry. They plan to do more soon. The problem is spreading throughout the city.

"It was literally just walking the streets downtown and not just downtown. It was on the east side, north side, on the west side," said Berry.

Hudson and Hollis have hope for their side of town. "It can be healed. It can do better," said Hudson.

Major Berry says the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit will step up its crackdown on prostitution and drugs in the city and county with more stings in the coming weeks.


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