OVERLAND PARK, Kansas - In the last three months Johnson County law enforcement agents
have made over 40 arrests when it comes to prostitution
The latest arrest happened Thursday afternoon at an undisclosed
Overland Park hotel.
“We have an ongoing effort to work these types of cases
and conduct operations where we actively try and arrest people for
prostitution,” said Officer Matthew Bregel.
Bregel said they have been successful with these sting
operations, but they can’t go into detail about how they run
Kristy Childs who works with Veronica’s Voice, women who
have been sexually exploited, said it’s a bigger problem than
many people understand.
“The women you see on Troost and Independence Avenue is
only about five to seven percent of the problem in the Kansas City
area. There are so many things happening that go on behind closed
doors,” said Childs. “When people think of prostitution
activity they think of the inner city, Independence Avenue, and
Troost, things like that, when in all reality, the majority of
prostitution is happening in the suburbs.”
We tagged along with one of her outreach programs as they tried
to convince women to get off the streets. It’s a fight that
hits close to home for Childs. She was a prostitute at the age of
“I was 12 years old when I trafficked into the industry; I
was just prostituting to survive. I was just running away
continually running away and being placed back into the home where
the abuse was happening. I started hitchhiking and it was through
hitchhiking with truck drivers that the prostitution actually
began,” said Childs.
Now she spends her time helping the women.
“We need to shift our focus to the demand which is our
root cause because without the demand there wouldn't be girls
recruited into this industry - as well as there would not be pimps
and traffickers,” explained Childs.
Meanwhile police departments like Overland Park try and stop the
prostitution problem their way.
“We are going to continue to run sting operations, and do
what we do. Our hotels and our businesses they don't want this
activity to take place,” said Bregel.
Both admit it’s an issue that deserves more attention.