More than 200 pimps, johns arrested by San Fernando Valley trafficking unit

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Community leaders are touting a big win in the fight against human trafficking in Los Angeles.

A San Fernando Valley-based task force has made more than 200 arrests of pimps and johns since it was set up last year.

"Not only will we continue to target the pimps very aggressively, we'll target the johns or any pervert that comes to this community to try and find a prostitute," said Deputy Chief Bob Green, with the LAPD's Valley Operations Bureau.

LAPD says prostitution activity can be seen 24 hours a day along two major boulevards in the valley, Sepulveda and Lankershim.

In one enforcement operation during a single six-hour shift, police said, they issued 50 tickets to johns who were soliciting prostitutes.

But law enforcement isn't just looking to always put everyone involved behind bars.

The task force has also been helping prostitutes that in many cases they say are victims of human trafficking, some as young as 14.

They help connect trafficking victims to organizations like Journey Out, a Los Angeles-based group formerly called the Mary Magdalene Project that helps women leave prostitution, finds alternatives to jail and helps them get new education and job training.
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