Hookers in Chula Vista Given a Police ‘Escort’

Times Staff Writer

Whenever San Diego police crack down on prostitution along El Cajon Boulevard, prostitutes are forced to ply their trade in other cities. Unfortunately for Chula Vista police, beefed-up enforcement in San Diego often transfers the problem to them.

In the past two weeks, Chula Vista police downtown noticed an influx of hookers walking the sidewalks on Broadway, “strutting their own unique walk,” Police Lt. Merlin Wilson said.

In response, Chula Vista police have begun an escort program of their own, and it seems to be paying off.


On Friday night, a team of 10 officers escorted about 20 women--at times walking along side of them--out of town. Wilson said that no prostitutes were arrested but the highly publicized operation succeeded in discouraging potential customers from approaching the women.

“We wanted our presence known,” Wilson said. “We had marked cars driving slowly along side of them and officers in uniform walking with them. After a while, it was clear that there weren’t going to be any customers that night. So, we gave them the option of escorting them all evening, or as an alternative, giving them a ride to the trolley station or calling them a cab.”

By 10 p.m., Broadway was cleared of prostitutes, Wilson said.

“The escort operation worked wonderfully. You could say that we ran them out of town, for a while at least. By 10 p.m. you couldn’t see one pair of tight pants or short skirts on Broadway. And it wasn’t because it was a cold evening.”