| Crime |

More National Exposure for Dallas PD's Efforts to Treat Prostitutes as Victims, Not Criminals

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

We've written quite a bit about the Dallas Police Department's efforts to treat prostitutes not as criminals, but as victims: In '06, Jesse Hyde profiled the so-called "whore cop" who works truck stops; two years later, he wrote about the Letot Center, where minors on the run from their pimps are offered safe haven. In November, Megan, working on a cover story for the paper version of Unfair Park that runs next week, attended the first National Prostitute Diversion Conference at the Old Red Courthouse, where DPD Sgt. Louis Felini's Prostitute Diversion Initiative was hailed as a national role model. And last month, Sgt. Byron Fassett, who created the department's High Risk Victim and Trafficking Unit and child exploitation squad, was brought to D.C. by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon to discuss how DPD tends to "the forgotten children" victimized by sex trafficking.

The Associated Press follows up this morning with a lengthy piece, in addition to the video above, that ties all those things together. And while there's been only limited success so far ("about half of the 375 women have chosen rehab, and just 21 have turned their lives around"), there are signs that DPD's efforts are accruing interest in other cities, among them Atlanta and Fort Worth.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.