This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
LAPD Officer Blames Hollywood For Trafficking Of Young Girls
If you've noticed fewer prostitutes and pimps in your neighborhood these days, it might be due to a recent crackdown on the practice by the LAPD, local elected officials and community groups. The effort, according to the Daily News, has been primarily going down in Van Nuys, North Hollywood and Sun Valley.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez tells the paper that, “It is these groups, with their eyes on the neighborhood, who spend their own personal time working with us to combat this scourge in our neighborhoods. It is a 24/7 battle, and I am going to work hand in hand with all parties to combat this ever adapting problem.”
Lt. Dennis Ballas, the LAPD’s Valley Bureau vice coordinator, notes that pimps seem to have been trolling harder in recent years than they have before, and looking for girls that seem to be getting younger.
And while this is certainly a practice that has to stop, Ballas' reasoning for why girls are getting involved at younger ages smacks of pearl-clutching and hand-wringing:
Ballas noted that part of the problem is the glamorization of hookers in television and movies that leads girls to believe it is somehow acceptable.
Yep, it's time to blame complex behavior on television and movies. Not that television and movies aren't trashy, but to reduce the pimping of young girls to Hollywood's glamorization of hooking—which we're not entirely sure exists, tbqh—seems like a huge oversimplification of what's actually a very complicated problem.
In fact, it seems likely that girls who are targeted and might go through with prostitution would have myriad other things in their lives going on that would contribute to why they are trafficked, and it seems more reasonable to place the blame squarely on the pimp rather than on the impressionable young girls.
Either way, we salute the effort—but maybe not the distribution of blame.