SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With budget cuts forcing law enforcement to scale back patrols, a manager of a South Sacramento hotel is taking more steps to curb prostitution in his neighborhood himself.
Days Inn manager Mike Razavi said sheriff’s deputies have not been able to increase patrols near his Watt Avenue business, and the problem has grown worse as more and more budget cuts have taken effect.
Razavi said prostitution has slowed in the area over the past few years but has become a more noticeable problem in recent months.
“I want them to get the message this is not the place to be,” he said. “If we see the appearance of the Sheriff in this area, that would help a lot.”
In addition to hiring his own security, Razavi has asked for help from the Guardian Angels, a local volunteer group that patrols high-crime areas and acts as a visual deterrent. The group has already located a hidden route prostitutes have used to sneak into his hotel.
One of the group’s members, who gave his name as Rocci, said Razavi is taking a bold stand against crime even at the risk of exposing himself to retribution.
“He’s stepping out where a lot of people don’t want to be,” Rocci said. “He’s taking a big risk.”
Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Detective Jason Ramos said deputies will still patrol the area, but the unit responsible for proactively tackling prostitution has been cut by more than half.
“We’re aware it’s a serious problem and try to do as much as we are able,” Ramos said.