Dallas police focus on saving child prostitutes

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — Police in Dallas are ramping up efforts to save teenagers from prostitution by improving how they identify the girls and the online advertisements that promote them.

Dallas' Crimes Against Children unit includes detectives who interview the girls and try to probe for information about their pimps. Police have run stings using web ads to snare prostitutes and johns. They try to treat girls with what they call a "victim-centered approach."

Police estimate that as many as 350 juveniles a year are considered what they call high-risk victims. Up to half are believed to be involved in prostitution.

Experts say Dallas' strategies could be a model for other law enforcement faced with a problem that plagues most of America's big cities.