Villages Raising Prostitution Fines
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COMBINED LOCKS-- Several communities in the Fox Valley are cracking down on prostitution. The villages of Kimberly, Combined, Locks and Little Chute are looking to increase the fines for people arrested for prostitution.
Currently the villages of Kimberly and Little Chute fine people charged with prostitution crimes less than $200 per offense. Police are backing an ordinance that would make the fines more than $2600. The Combined Locks village board recently approved the fine increase.
Officer Scott Van Schyndel with the Fox Valley Metro Police department says prostitution is on the rise and the activity has been going on a long time in the Fox Valley. Van Schyndel is hopeful the three communities served by the Fox Valley Metro police will pass the same ordinance. Police are hopeful increasing the fine by more than 1300% will serve as a deterrent.
“The prostitutes themselves from working here and the johns going to the prostitutes to give a little bit more incentive not to be doing this,” Van Schyndel said.
In Grand Chute the fines are already about $2600. Police say repeat offenders in the town have been on the decline. “That fine amount does play a role and frankly I would encourage communities to consider that if they are going down this path,” said Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson.
At Fox Valley Technical College a class teaching officers how to combat prostitution is in high demand. They’re learning how higher fines and partnering with hotels can make a difference.
"Officers are being trained on how to communicate, collaborate with them, train them and identify how the police officer can follow up on that activity,” said FVTC instructor Mark Kohl.
The increased awareness of the problem, along with the increase in fines, are all tools police say can work.
Combined Locks passed the higher fine ordinance Tuesday. Little Chute's village board will vote on it Wednesday, while Kimberly’s village board will take up the issue Monday.