Ordinance that would banish prostitutes discussed

Ordinance that would banish prostitutes discussed

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ATLANTA -

A proposed ordinance that would bar prostitutes from Atlanta brought out a large crowd at City Hall on Monday.

The Atlanta Police Department says removing prostitutes from certain neighborhoods may be the only way to combat it, but social workers have demanded police back off.

Residents attending the meeting said that it's not just prostitution that is the problem, but other things that come with it.

"The big one is drug activity. You know, for example, Ponce Boulevard, prostitutes are turning tricks and as soon as the john drops them back off, the drug dealer comes in," said Steve Gower, a Midtown resident.

Residents were outnumbered by social workers at the meeting, who tried to persuade lawmakers and law enforcement to produce resources to help the females instead of finding new ways to put them in jail.

"Warehousing people cost a lot of money; there are alternatives," said one woman.

Police officers stressed that the ordinance affects female and male prostitutes as well as the "johns" and anyone else involved.

City Councilmember Michael Bond said that there will not be a vote on Tuesday; the council will try and incorporate some of the ideas brought up at the meeting into the ordinance.

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