Twenty men from Buffalo and the suburbs arrested for allegedly patronizing prostitutes during a recent two-week sting are getting some additional attention with their mug shots posted on the Buffalo Police Department’s Facebook page.
Their faces, names, date of the arrest and what municipality they reside in were posted in order to deter other individuals who may be considering seeking the services of a prostitute in the city, according to Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
“When we posted the photos of johns last year after a sting operation, we found it took away customers from the prostitutes, curtailing the activity, but it has slowly come back and so we conducted another sting we started in the last week of July,” Derenda said.
Pictures of this latest batch of johns, Derenda said, will remain on the Facebook page and, in the near future, on the Buffalo Police Department’s Web page for six months.
Other individuals who are arrested for patronizing prostitutes, he added, can look forward to having their mug shots posted.
“When the customers stop, the prostitutes disappear,” the commissioner said. “They are off the street, and this is a quality-of-life issue for neighborhoods.”
The last time the city posted the photos, attorneys for some of the accused sent letters threatening to sue the city, but police officials, after conferring with the city’s corporation counsel, determined they were within their legal rights to publish the images.