Everett adjusts boundaries of prostitution zones

EVERETT — Hewitt Avenue and Casino Road are doing better. Evergreen Way is not.

Earlier this month, Everett police updated the boundaries of zones used to designate high-prostitution areas.

The City Council reviewed the changes at last week’s meeting.

“We re-evaluate our level of prostitution going on past years of statistics, our observations and complaints from citizens,” said Everett police Lt. Jim Duffy, who leads the special investigations unit.

Parts of Hewitt have been removed from the zones, he said. Additions include the 8000 block of Broadway, and the 4000 block of Rucker Avenue through the 4700 block of Evergreen Way.

The newly zoned areas include some of the bikini barista stands that have made headlines in recent months for alleged crimes and city-code violations, Duffy said.

The zones are used to enforce court orders given to those convicted of prostitution activity, including people who buy sex, Duffy said. Everett police have enforced those orders, called “Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution,” or “SOAP,” since at least the 1990s.

Offenders can be arrested on the spot for violating the court order, Duffy said. Since 2012, Everett police have made 95 arrests for people accused of buying or selling sex.

Prostitution activity hurts local businesses, neighborhoods and a community’s quality of life, Duffy said.

“It definitely has a negative impact,” he said. “We get complaints so we need to respond to those complaints.”

Similar orders exist for areas of the city with heavy drug activity.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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