Keeping up with the johns-es

If there’s one thing this blog is a bit obsessed with (besides sans-serif fonts and secret cabals with Kevin Ksen), it’s monitoring the WPD’s prostitution sting press releases.

Just so we can keep a running tab for the year:

January 10 – 2 males, 9 females

January 22 – 4 males, 4 females

March 9 – 3 males, 1 female

March 22 – 5 males, 4 females

May 24 – 2 males, 4 females

June 14 – 0 males, 3 females

July 19 – 0 males, 5 females

September 8 – 11 males, 5 females

For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 27 males and 35 females (56% female).  Before the September 8 sting, it was 16 males and 30 females (65% female).

It’s rather difficult to track other prostitution-related arrests, or clearly identify a male or a female (as most folks are charged with “sexual conduct for a fee”).  Looking at court records doesn’t always tell the whole story; many cases are continued and eventually dismissed.

Recently, the Telegram had an article (“Police opt for video hub fed by cameras: Real-time data to help street patrols” by Thomas Caywood, 14 September) and an editorial (“Inescapable eyes: A free society should debate RTCC idea“, 17 September) about a WPD-run video surveillance center called the Real Time Crime Center.

It should come as no surprise to longtime readers of the blog that I adamantly oppose this kind of monitoring of people’s activities.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has lived in Worcester for more than a year that the WPD has received a grant to begin work on such a system and is requesting bids — without any community input.

Of course, another program that did not involve the community at all — the latest “solution” to panhandling — has not been successful, at least according to Councilor Rushton.

I would not mind overlords who ran my life if they were compassionate and competent, but one cannot rely on those two qualities in this city.

And — lest we forget — the WPD recently did not release video that the could have identified an arsonist at large in the downtown area.

I’m sure there will be more to learn about the video surveillance project in months to come; I’ll try my best to cover that.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but my resolution for 2013 is definitely to read the city budget.

On page 152 of the pdf of the FY2013 budget, there are all sorts of fascinating estimates from the WPD:

Actual calls for service in FY11: 95,321
Projected calls for service in FY12: 163,407
Projected calls for service in FY13: 163,407

Actual patrol initiated calls in FY11: 28,551
Projected patrol initiated calls in FY12: 48,945
Projected patrol initiated calls in FY13: 48,945

Actual homicides in FY11: 9
Projected homicides in FY12: 15
Projected homicides in FY13: 15

Take a look — there’s a projected increase of 60-70% in nearly every category.

Not sure what that means, but I’d love to know if we’re in the middle of a massive crimewave.