Police Make Undercover Prostitution Bust - NECN
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Police Make Undercover Prostitution Bust

Hartford police took to the streets Wednesday night to combat a problem that persists in city communities. NBC Connecticut was the only station to join police during the vice detail. Officers went undercover as prostitutes and attempted to bring in and arrest potential customers. (Published Thursday, July 23, 2015)

Hartford police took to the streets Wednesday night to combat a problem that persists in city communities.

NBC Connecticut was the only station to join police during the vice detail. Officers went undercover as prostitutes and attempted to bring in and arrest potential customers.

Authorities say prostitution is a crime motivated by drugs and addiction.

"It's a cycle of working to get the money and then using the money to buy the drugs, getting high, coming down off of that, and then going back to work to get high," said Hartford Police Lt. Brandon O'Brien.

Police say the arrests are a temporary fix, but it's one that gives those charged a chance to get help and break the cycle.

"When we do make an arrest in these situations, they get referred to our community court, where they will get the social services they need and will get some direction, positive direction, where they need to go," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Authorities set up and staked out the area as undercover officers went to work. Soon enough, police found what they were waiting for and moved in to make their arrests.

The operation came about after a request from State Rep. Angel Arce to send a clear message for those engaged in prostitution.

"We don't want that in our city. We want that out of our city," said Arce, a Democrat from Hartford.

For police, it's even bigger than that. The work done during the operation can lead to solving violent crimes.

"Rarely do we do any of these operations where they're not in the area of a recent homicide. Every person we bring in, we will debrief and try to find out any information we can on recent shootings, homicides, robberies, burglaries, anything," said Foley. "I can think of a few homicides in recent years that we've gotten valuable information to move forward with an arrest through one of these prostitution details."

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