View Full Version : Mount Clemens residents hit street to fight prostitution

06-11-2005, 05:51 PM

Saturday, June 11, 2005 . Associated Press

Mount Clemens residents hit street to fight prostitution

MOUNT CLEMENS -- Members of a watch group are taking the fight against prostitution and drugs right to the source -- the streets of their neighborhood.

North Gratiot Neighborhood Watch members spent two days last month posing as streetwalkers and vagrants in an area north of the Mount Clemens downtown section known for its street crime.

When potential customers pulled over, the activists handed out a flier that said, "If you're soliciting sex and/or drugs in this neighborhood, you are being videotaped. Stay tuned for the 11 (o'clock) news. Zero tolerance."

Watch group organizer Deborah Roberts said the homeowners are using the new technique because they are tired of motorists driving around the block asking law-abiding men and women for crack cocaine or sex for money.

The Mount Clemens City Commission voted this spring to disband the city's police department and hire the sheriff's office as a cost-savings measure. The sheriff's patrols begin July 1.

"We can't wait ... for Sheriff (Mark) Hackel to get in here," Roberts told The Macomb Daily. "We're paying all these taxes to the city and our own police officers are overworked. This city needs to be held accountable."

The North Gratiot group has become increasingly vocal about crime in their neighborhood over the past two years, posting signs, handing out leaflets and videotaping alleged drug sales and prostitutes waving down cars. Last month, members went a step further and began walking the streets themselves, handing out their fliers.

Although they acknowledge posing as a hooker late at night is extremely risky, some of the group members are carrying mace or other weapons to be used in self defense. Their videotapes are being turned over to law enforcers.

"We can't even walk in our own neighborhood without being solicited by some creep driving by," Roberts said. "We simply aren't getting adequate protection."

Hackel has vowed to wipe out drug trafficking and prostitution in the area when his deputies take over law enforcement duties in Mount Clemens.

Mount Clemens now spends $3.5 million a year on its 26-officer department. The sheriff's proposal calls for at least 17 officers with one command officer for a cost of $2.1 million.

eastside billee
06-13-2005, 01:30 AM

06-13-2005, 10:43 AM
This is wrong on so many levels. What happens when one of these guys pulls a gun on one of them? Police are trained to deal with situations like that, these people are not. Chances are we will be scraping them off the sidewalk.

The head of the group now has her name out in public. What happens when one of these guys comes back and lights her house on fire? Or a pimp gets mad they are driving customers away and does something to her or her family?

Wanting to help in the community is very admirable and should be encouraged, just not in this way. Help raise money with fund raisers to buy more equipment, or to put more cops on the street.

I wish the article had included some comments from law enforcement and how they feel about this groups actions.