Six women were arrested for prostitution this weekend in Kankakee after resident complaints sparked an undercover investigation by police and the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group agents.

"At least it will slow down the traffic -- the johns looking for the prostitutes -- and hopefully, improve the quality of life in the neighborhood," said Master Sgt. Bob Bodemer, KAMEG director.

Interim Kankakee Police Chief Larry Regnier explained the operation this way: "When we get the complaints, we will check to see if it's true, and if it is, we will set up a sting operation and go get them." Regnier could not give details on when the last sting was conducted or when the last prostitution arrests were made.

Regnier said,"I'm not gonna sit here and give details of our undercover activities and when we're gonna do the stings." Nor would he give any sense of how serious prostitution is in this area. He said, "we have people who are working on our streets and (the police department will) do everything in our power to stop them from plying their trade on our streets.

Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein said these stings are a way to keep the streets safe. "When you do this, it makes the activity go away for a little while."

Arrested for prostitution Friday night were: Cathy S. Brunes, 48, of 1201 N. 2000E Road, Sibley; Stacy L. Tecalero, 25, of 626 N. Locust St., Momence; Mylo S. Green, 34, of 1350 E. Maple St., Kankakee; Corine C. Corbett, 52, of 208 N. Rosewood Ave., Kankakee; Velincia R. Beck, 37, of 754 E. Locust St., Kankakee, and Karin D. Garcia, 41, of 594 S. Osborn Ave., Kankakee, according to KAMEG reports released Monday.

Prostitution: supply, demand and the effect

While there is no extensive study of prostitution in the Kankakee area, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation has published a number of studies about women and men in the sex trade -- the prostitutes, the pimps who profit and the johns who purchase sex.

In reports, the group notes that the majority of the law enforcement and the media focus on the supply side of prostitution, rather than the demand. It concludes: "The equation is simple: If we want to eliminate supply, we must first eliminate demand."

Research the group cites has found that:

* Anywhere from 80 percent to 90 percent of prostitutes are being controlled by a pimp.

* Approximately 90 percent of these prostitutes are physically and sexually abused at the hands of traffickers and customers.

* Of women in prostitution, many have experienced homelessness, are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and experienced untreated mental health and substance abuse.

* The FBI estimates that a woman's average life expectancy is only seven years after the date of entry into prostitution.

~ The Daily Journal staff report