Madison Police cracking down on prostitution - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Police cracking down on prostitution

Posted: Updated:
Madison Police think the city's clean image may be giving prostitutes and johns a sense of security. Madison Police think the city's clean image may be giving prostitutes and johns a sense of security.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Meth found in Decatur motel; 3 arrested

    Meth found in Decatur motel; 3 arrested

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:12:29 GMT
    On Aug 20 The Decatur Police Department's Patrol Devision responded to a 911 call at a local motel. The call was received from an undetermined room.After further investigating, the people in the room were identified as William Alfonso Swopes and Amanada Morrow. Officers soon discovered that Swopes had an active felony warrant in Ohio.Officers confirmed Swopes' warrant and gathered information that James Daniel Sapp Jr. was going to arrive with an amount of methamphetamine.More >>
    On Aug 20 The Decatur Police Department's Patrol Devision responded to a 911 call at a local motel. The call was received from an undetermined room.After further investigating, the people in the room were identified as William Alfonso Swopes and Amanada Morrow. Officers soon discovered that Swopes had an active felony warrant in Ohio.Officers confirmed Swopes' warrant and gathered information that James Daniel Sapp Jr. was going to arrive with an amount of methamphetamine.More >>
  • Huntsville school board member named in civil suit by former employer

    Huntsville school board member named in civil suit by former employer

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:51:13 GMT
    Mike Culbreath is accused of conspiring with James Packard, a competing developer, to convince potential tenants to choose a competing development in the City of Huntsville.More >>
    Mike Culbreath is accused of conspiring with James Packard, a competing developer, to convince potential tenants to choose a competing development in the City of Huntsville.More >>
  • WAFF48 Anchors take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    WAFF48 Anchors take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Mark Thornhill and Kim Essex took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Mark Thornhill and Kim Essex took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
    WAFF48 News Anchors Mark Thornhill and Kim Essex took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.More >>
    WAFF48 News Anchors Mark Thornhill and Kim Essex took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.More >>
MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Madison Police are cracking down on the sex trade that begins in Cyberspace and ends in motels on Madison Boulevard.

The latest sting on Valentine's Day put six people behind bars. The accused prostitute and five suspected johns – all locals – were arrested on prostitution-related charges. This bust comes just two months after two men were arrested on similar charges by Madison PD in December.

Although law enforcement will agree prostitution exists in every city, it is something many people don't expect to happen in Madison. With a squeaky-clean image and low crime rate, the city was recently named the safest in all of Alabama, according to an online realty publication.

Police said part of the issue could be the very thing they pride themselves on – the city's safe image.

"Because Madison is such a safe city and we do have our officers out being proactive. We don't have a lot of the street-level robberies and assaults that some of the larger areas do. People who are engaging in these activities may feel safer coming here," said Police Captain John Stringer.

Police said this kind of prostitution is facilitated through social media and websites like BackPage, where hundreds of postings involving sex in the metro area are found under the site's "adult" section, all with explicit photos and language.

Some listings are more bold than others, coming right out with their services and fees. Others use codewords and phrases such as "looking for companionship," and many don't even make the mention of money.

Captain Stringer said some call themselves models or escorts. "A lot of them will have their own Facebook pages and then they will refer you to their ads on BackPage or whatever the dating site might be," he said.

Hotels and motels also have a hand in cracking down on this type of crime. Police said there area a handful of motels, mainly on Madison Boulevard, that are typically targeted by this activity. They tend to have lower rates, and people exchanging sex for money typically pick these locations due to the anonymity that comes with it.

Police said some motel and hotel owners are more proactive than others in prevention. They alert police to suspected activity. The department is working with these businesses to put prostitution to a stop, but they say it is a cooperative effort.

"We want to get to the point where all of our hotel managers are more selective on who they are allowing to be on their property, so that particular area or hotel doesn't become a center or a target for criminal activity, whether it's inside or out in the parking lot," Captain Stringer said.

Police said prostitution is not a victimless crime, and often brings with it violence and other types of crime. Now police are quickly cracking down by arresting both the prostitutes and the johns. Police want to make it clear – engaging in prostitution is not safe in their city. The bottom line, they say, is if you get caught, you will go to jail.

Remember, when breaking news happens, we break it first online, by email, and by text. If you want to receive our breaking news alerts by text, pull out your phone right now and text NEWS to 44848. Message and data rates may apply. You can text STOP at any time to cancel your subscription, text HELP for more information, or call 877-571-0774 for support.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.