PAWTUCKET â€” Despite a major cleanup, the Dexter and Barton Street neighborhood still has a devil of a time changing its reputation. Yet, the Pawtucket Police Department's Special Squad is committed to remaining vigilant and, when necessary, springing into action to combat the prostitution activity the once-seedy neighborhood has long been known for.
Recently, police officers on patrol in the area had noticed an increase in the amount of prostitution-related activity. Residents living in nearby apartments and local business people had also reported seeing obvious solicitations and related behavior.
In response, the Pawtucket Police Special Squad sent several undercover female police officers into the area on May 30 to see if they would be approached and propositioned by men seeking to buy sex. In just a few short hours that Friday morning, a total of 12 men took the bait, going up to the officers and offering to pay for a sexual act. All 12 were subsequently arrested by Special Squad officers posted nearby and were charged with a misdemeanor of procurement of sexual conduct for a fee.
Full story appears on page A1 of Wednesday's Times.