New law to curb prostitution in Yakima

New law to curb prostitution in Yakima »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Police are enforcing a new law to curb prostitution here in Yakima. It's a way they hope will stop the activity around North First Street. The law bans anyone caught for solicitation from the area for years.

You could call North 1st Street her home away from home. It's one street, but Officer Tarin Miller stays busy. Picking up people for prostitution keeps it that way.

"They're visible, which affects just about everybody who drives by sees this," said Officer Miller.

Or, whoever works nearby.

"Everyday we see lots of prostitution going on, drugs, lots of nasty stuff no one wants to see everyday," said Austin Peyser.

Peyser says enough is enough. It's why he's thankful for a new law in Yakima.

The new law works by essentially banning convicted prostitutes and johns from the neighborhood. If you're charged with the crime, the judge issues a "stay out of area" order for North 1st Street from Lincoln, north to the Highway 12 on-ramp. Violators can be arrested on the spot for a misdemeanor.

"The on-site arrest is very, very helpful because the girls don't want to go to jail," said Miller.

They'd stay there for up to 90 days and be forced to pay up to a$1,000 fine.

It's an immediate consequence that Officer Miller and people in Yakima agree is a step in the right direction.

Officer Miller made her first arrest under the new law this week. We'll keep tabs on how well the new law is working.