By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
Faced with complaints from residents about a rise in prostitution along Beach Boulevard, the City of Stanton is rolling out an array of weapons in response.
“We’re going to try a three-pronged approach to the problem,” said Julie Roman, an assistant to the city manager. The area of concern is called the Benedict tract, located generally north of Katella Avenue and west of Beach Boulevard.
The first prong will be the establishment of a neighborhood watch program in the area, involving both residents and businesses.
Second will be increased activity by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which provides police services in Stanton. According to Roman, the OCSD will seek to increase its visibility in the target area.
One way will be for patrol cars leaving from and returning to the sheriff’s substation in Stanton’s civic center to drive a route that takes them through the Benedict area, which is just north of City Hall.
A third method will be to increase the number of “john” sweeps (a “john” is a prostitute’s customer) conducted by deputies.
“There are usually two sweeps per year,” she said. “We plan to utilize grant funds to conduct one or two more a year. We are going to go after the johns.”
Code enforcement officers will also be called upon to increase the city’s presence in the affected areas, and an unmanned sheriff’s patrol car will be positioned in various locations to also serve as a deterrant, she said.
Still another approach would be to publicize the names of “johns” in local newspapers.
“We’re practicing pro-active law enforcement,” said Roman.
The strategy was developed in part through a task force of citizens, city officials and the sheriff’s department.
Although the city is assembling resources to combat the problem of streetwalkers along and near Beach Boulevard, the effort shouldn’t break the municipal bank, according to Roman.
“We expect to pay for this through the use of grants” from the state and federal government, she added.
Nor does the effort signal an increase in danger to citizens. “Stanton has experienced a 40 percent decrease in violent crime over the past six years.”