Sanford Police are leaving "Dear John" letters to cars parked in areas with known prostitutes.
The letters will servce as a warning that someone is watching them and that prostitution is unaccaptable in the community.
News 13 goes In Depth with our legal analyst, Mark NeJame, on this new campaign.
JACKIE BROCKINGTON: Do you think people will take these letters seriously and is somebodys rights being infringed upon here?
MARK NEJAME: Well if you're a wife and your husband gets a dear john letter then you'll take it seriously. But hasn't Sanford had enough over the last couple of months. It amazes me why people can't stay in the lines and they take all of these extra steps and cause all of these issues. Here's what's going on Jackie, if in fact there are men looking for prosititues, then there are laws against that. Arrest them if there's probable cause, but to put a watch guard, which does nothing but subject Sanford to civil liability if they send a letter to the wrong person and they were in fact not there or they make an accusation that they can't prove. Not they just subject Sanford to civil liability.
If you're a man and you get a letter, let's say you were visiting a friend, any number of reasons you're in the area doing this. If your family gets this letter and you're accused of something you didn't do, you've got some real issues as far as bringing a claim. I think my personal injury division would love to be getting a case like that. Only because you're guessing at what they're doing. You're the police. You're there to enforce the law, not to be this moral watchdog and say no no no not in that neighborhood. You're crossing the line where you don't need to go there.
If in fact there are men in that area, and I presume that there are, arrest them. Use your resources instead of taking a picture of the car and drafting a letter and running it through your legal. You use the same resources for people who are breaking the law. But why put the city of Sanford, who's had enough troubles over the past year in this kind of exposure. I don't see the sense of it.
JB: How could this help crack down on prostitution?
NEJAME: Oh it'll cut down on the Johns going there for a minute until they go to another neighborhood. Or until the publicity is over about this and then they'll come right back. It's been said this is the worlds oldest profession, they're not going to stop it. They might go to another block, but use the laws, you're the police. Enforce the law. Don't become the legal guardian and wag your finger at something if you can't prove that it's against the law... it's not your job.
Why subject the city of Sanford to civil liability? I don't understand the logic of doing this. If they want to put a stop to this, then put a police officer in the road where the traffic is going on. I promise you, nobody is going to be driving down that road if they see someone like that. It just makes no sense to me.
JB: Alright, so we'll see if the Dear John letters work and we'll go from there.
NEJAME: And if in fact Sanford is going to find itself in the news again for all of the wrong reasons.