Bowling Green Police Weigh in on City Prostitution

By: Forrest Sanders Email
By: Forrest Sanders Email

Sergeant Penny Bowles says that the Bowling Green police department encounters street level prostitution, though it's not something they hear about as much as even a few years ago. But as she explains, that doesn't necessarily mean that prostitution is any less prevelant in the city.

"There's been a decrease in the number of complaints, but I'm not sure there's a decrease in the number of cases," says Sergeant Bowles.

Local police stings have busted those working the oldest profession in the world in places as unlikely as downtown Bowling Green. But in recent years, prostitution has been seemingly less active in the city.

"People are better at keeping it behind closed doors," says Sergeant Bowles. "We can't police what's going on in peoples' houses without having a right to be there."

She says what's sometimes going on behind those closed doors are calls to escort services.

"The difference is the name," Sergeant Bowles adds. "Prostitution and escort services are pretty much the same thing. Sex for money. In essense, they're treated the same way. We don't have many localized escort services here. People can use the internet if they want to use an escort service."

Sergeant Bowles says the most frequent website for prostitution activity is Craig's List, a website listing classifieds, visited by fifteen million people per month.

"We don't get complaints about it or happen to see the transactions take place. It happens on a computer or a phone, at your house. It's harder to detect," she explains.

But even though it's become more difficult to stop prostitution in town, Sergeant Bowles says the police can accelerate their efforts with some help from the community.

"Call if you witness any kind of prostitution. Let us investigate," says says.

Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor in Kentucky, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.

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