IMPD: Prostitution reports surge on city's east side

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Metro Police Department detectives said they've received a surge of complaints about prostitution on the city's east side.

According to police reports, prostitution has been a staple along the corridor of east 10th Street for decades.

While often seen as a victimless crime, residents and business owners in the neighborhood said the prostitutes are a nuisance.

"We have one, sometimes as many as four to five (prostitutes) working 10th Street. They're well known to the neighbors," said businessman Eric Scott.

Residents said the prostitutes can be seen any time of day or night bringing customers in-and-out of vacant homes.

Store owners said the prostitution spike is bad for business.

"I just try to explain to (the prostitutes) that we're trying to run a business here. It's bad for business. Please move on down the road," one business owner said.

Metro police and neighborhood organizations say that prostitution brings drugs into the neighborhood. And addiction and chemical dependency are issues that are often paid for with property crimes like burglary and theft," RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

Meanwhile, not-for-profit organizations along east 10th Street have brought tens of millions of dollars to the east side in new infrastructure, housing, business and commercial development. And local organizers are adamant that new business and the "world's oldest profession" don't mix.

IMPD East District Commander James Waters said he plans to get creative in solving the problem.

"As the east district commander, I intend to work with the Investigations Division and target prostitution in this area," Waters said.

Among the women of the east side, the enablers who drive in from Hamilton and Johnson counties in search of sex, have blurred the lines between prostitutes and innocent victims.

"I'm not afraid to go out and take a walk in my neighborhood because I'll get shot. But I am afraid to go out and take a walk because someone will try and solicit me," one female resident said.

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