Near north side woman concerned about potential prostitution in her neighborhood

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Victoria Rutt is speaking out in hopes of bringing attention to suspected prostitution happening in her neighborhood.

During a recent police ride along, Rutt said she was told prostitution activity could be on the rise.

"We have a supplemental patrol program so every now and then I do a ride-along with an officer that leads the program. He just keeps the neighbors informed as to what kind of problems he’s seeing so we can address them quickly," Victoria Rutt said.

Rutt said there’s a higher volume of foot traffic happening on North College Avenue and Carrollton Avenue. Her Kennedy King neighborhood officer thinks it could be related to prostitution.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says in 2018 there were 77 arrests for prostitution; some of these include multiple arrests for one person.

Police say there haven’t been any complaints filed in the North College Avenue and Carrollton Avenue area recently, but it’s being monitored.

"We do see prostitution from time to time and we do have investigators out there that specifically work those vice crimes to help reduce it," Sgt. Jim Gillespie said.

"It starts with choice and moves into circumstances. Then it kind of goes into force, fraud, and coercion which are definitions that have to be in place for trafficking scenario," White Stone Project President Sarah Hurley said.

Sarah Hurley is the president of White Stone Project. Her organization equips and trains direct service providers on how to help those involved in prostitution.

Hurley said sometimes a woman’s past can lead them into a life of selling their body.

"Am I 25 and older and have a fully developed brain? What is my history and my past? Do I have a lot of adverse childhood experiences," Hurley said.

She said there’s no simple answer to getting rid of prostitution, but said if people like Rutt are looking out, it can lead to a positive outcome for everyone.

"In no way am I judging them. We don’t want the crime in our neighborhood but we don’t want them suffering either, but I would hope they could find an organization to help them get through the problem," Rutt said.

Police say if you see something suspicious to call the Human Trafficking number at (317)327-3542.

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