Spurred by complaints from area residents and businesses, a task force of Hollywood vice officers last Thursday night arrested 37 men and women on prostitution charges and one man for pimping.
During the sweep, female vice officers posed as prostitutes and arrested 20 men on charges of soliciting them for prostitution, police said.
In all, 22 men and 15 women, including a juvenile runaway from Texas, were arrested for prostitution. Three suspects were arrested for interfering with officers' investigations, and one other person for outstanding misdemeanor warrants, police said.
A man identified by police as John Evans, 43, was charged with pimping, a charge relating to receiving money from the illegal acts of another person. If convicted, Evans faces a mandatory three-year sentence, vice Sgt. Gordon Campbell said.
While the undercover female vice officers worked corners at Sunset Boulevard and Vista Street, those arrested were immediately booked at a mobile booking station and released pending prosecution, police said.
"It was very successful," said Campbell. He said police will continue the sweeps, and their focus will be on arresting customers, as well as prostitutes.
"If we can dry up the demand, maybe we can clean up the streets even more effectively," he said.
The cases have been sent to the city attorney's office for prosecution, and no court dates have been set.