Beginning this week, the Sarasota Police Department is sending out prostitution advisory letters to owners of registered vehicles observed in areas known for prostitution. (Sarasota Police Department / March 7, 2014)
Sarasota isn't the only Florida police department to send out prostitution warning letters. In October 2013, the Sanford Police Department sent out "Dear John" letters. Here, Orlando Sentinel reporter Amy Pavuk talks with FOX35 about the letters.
The Sarasota Police Department is taking a unique approach to cutting down on solicitation of prostitution in their city.
Beginning March 4, the department started sending out "prostitution advisory letters" to registered vehicle owners whose business or residential vehicles have been spotted in areas of the city known for prostitution.
The driver or occupants of the vehicles were observed by police of engaging with either a known prostitute -- someone who has a previous conviction -- or an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a prostitute.
The letters are mere advisories and are not meant to be accusatory letters. There are no pending charges against those receiving the letters.
“Your vehicle was observed on (this date) at an area within the city limits of Sarasota known for prostitution related crimes," the letter reads.
The recipients of the letters are given a generated case number along with the phone number of Street Crimes Unit Sergeant Demetri Konstantopoulos, if they happen to have any questions.
This isn't the first time a Florida police department was sent out prostitution warning letters.
In October, the Sanford police department announced that it would start sending "Dear John" letters, which included a photograph of the vehicle and a close-up of the license plate, reminding the recipients of the dangers associated with prostitution, including sexually transmitted diseases and other criminal activity.