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Video captures Salt Lake City prostitution sting

Published April 5, 2013 10:41 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City police on Thursday conducted a prostitution sting on State Street.

KUTV took pool video of the operation and disseminated it to media outlets as part of an agreement with the police department. A police press release says five men and one woman were arrested on suspicion of sex solicitation. Two of those suspects are also accused of possessing drugs.

Thursday's operation targeted johns. The video shows undercover officers approaching cars. When an agreement between the parties is reached, uniformed officers move in and make the arrest.

Last month, The Tribune reported prostitution-related arrests in Salt Lake City plunged a 92 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year.

Early last year, Police Chief Chris Burbank disbanded the vice squad after questionable practices by some detectives, including investigating such crimes outside city limits and violating the police department's "no touch policy" as they sought to get evidence of prostitution.

Then late in 2012, the Salt Lake City police reinstituted the vice squad under the umbrella of the organized crime division. Lt. Dave Askerlund said the new squad plans to target more heavily the people who are enabling the crime — the pimps and the customers.