MUGSHOTS: 14 suspected prostitutes busted in Knoxville stings

Knoxville (WVLT) - They were arrested Monday night for prostitution, and now most of them are back on the streets.

The Knoxville Police Department picked up 14 women on prostitution and drug charges in a major sting operation, but is it enough to control the problem?

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone talked with neighbors and they have some strong opinions on this.

Park Ridge neighbors say they hear about these stings all the time, but they say police operations don't keep the call girls and their associates from coming back.

Prostitution is the oldest profession in history, and Park Ridge neighbors say it's a problem that's never going away. Here sits a beautifully restored Victorian home in this transitional neighborhood, and residents tell us you can find prostitutes day and night.

"But I still continue to see on a daily basis, prostitutes walking past my house, walking up through my sidelot, I know every single one of them, I know their descriptions and what they look like. I've been watching them for two years," a neighbor identified as "Dawn" said.

The Knoxville Police Department conducts regular stings in this and surrounding communities, but it's the same result every time.

"The problem will be cease in the area for awhile, but eventually it comes back," Knoxville Police Lieutenant Jerry Armstrong said.

Park Ridge resident Chase Isom says the responsibility lies on not only with the police department, but also him and his fellow neighbors.

"They may voice their opinion about getting something done, but it's the communities, the community can do it if they really want the problem solved. You can't put everything on the police department because they can't handle everything. If you want the problem solved, then fix it," Isom said.

And perhaps that means getting to the root of the problem. Why?

"A lot of them are actually intelligent individuals, some of them have actually been to college and got hooked on crack cocaine. They start on a downhill slide, come out here to support that drug habit, every trick they can turn, they can get a fix for the night," one KPD officer said.

Making it an uphill battle for these residents to revive the streets back to a simpler time.

The Knoxville Police Department says it relies on your phone calls and complaints to help identify areas with high prostitution. The fact is, many people are scared to speak out. A viscous cycle.

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