Kennewick Police Crack Down on Lewd Acts in ParkPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Police say men willingly contacting other men for sexual purposes in public places continues to be a major problem in the Tri-Cities. They said in the past several years it's getting worse.
Officers say otherwise normal looking men are getting together, having sex with complete strangers in public, then are driving away.
Officers from a specialized proactive crime fighting team from the Richland Police Department said they're cracking down on the sex acts off of Bushwacker Road. It's near Columbia Drive in Richland but what happens back there, according to the P.A.C.T sergeant, is worlds away from normal Tri-Cities life.
Bushes and trees line the river off of Bushwacker Road. Walking through the area it's easy to spot pornographic magazines, used condoms and soiled undergarmets scattered about. Sergeant Jeff Taylor said although one of the major problems in the area is drugs, many people they've arrested are otherwise law abiding citizens.
"They are married, middle-aged, normal looking men meeting to have sex in this area," said Taylor.
The P.A.C.T team does a lot of undercover work near Bushwacker Road and uniform officers also patrol the area. Taylor said even he has been solicited for sex by a complete stranger in one of the wooded areas.
The area remains one of high priority for the Richland Police Department. They said they'll continue undercover sting operations to make sure the area is safe for community members to visit.