'Bissonnet is closed for business': HPD cracking down on corridor known for prostitution, sex trafficking

HPD is sending a clear message, no more paying to play on Bissonnet Street. 

"Bissonnet's closed for business," those words from Reece Hardy, commander of HPD's Westside division. 

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Hardy and his team are taking a different approach to tackle the seemingly never-ending issue of prostitution on what's known as the Bissonnet track. 

"What we found out historically is that we can't arrest our way out of this problem," Hardy said. 

Since May 1, HPD says they've increased their police presence and starting last week they've been blocking off side streets, like Plainfield and Centre Parkway leading back to the Southwest Freeway, which essentially makes it harder for cars to circle the area. 

"They have to make a much larger loop which takes a long time to do, they're stuck at the traffic light, really it makes it more difficult to engage in the type of behavior we were seeing out here," said Hardy. 

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The question remains, is it actually helping? FOX 26 spoke anonymously with an employee who works in the area at night, and he says from what he's seen, the initiative is making a difference.  

"Usually, prostitutes are just walking around. But they've been cracking down, and I haven't even seen one or two prostitutes today," he said. 

We went out to Bissonnet after 10 p.m. to check it out, we still saw what appeared to be several sex workers on the stroll, but Hardy says that's nothing compared to what it's usually like. 

"It's been a drastic reduction in both vehicular traffic and foot traffic," said Hardy. 


When asked what would happen when the sex workers just move to a different location, Hardy said they're expecting that. 

"We know there will be a displacement effect. The hope is that the displacement is dispersed and not so heavily concentrated in one specific area," he said. 

Commander Hardy says the businesses in the area have been supportive, some even chaining up their parking lots at night to help close loopholes. 

Police say they'll continue blocking those side streets off every night from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. until further notice.