Tampa about to crack down harder on those busted with prostitutes

The Tampa City Council today voted on an ordinance that would allow the city to temporarily impound vehicles used by those soliciting street prostitution. The measure passed 6-1 on first hearing.

Those charged under the impound law would be required to pay a $500 penalty to get their vehicles out of a lot. Defendants would have the ability to challenge the impound charges before a county circuit court judge. If a court hearing isn't scheduled within five business days, the vehicle would be released to its owner, with no penalty charged.

The effort was pushed by Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who made a reputation for himself as a City Council member in the late 1990s for demanding tough laws on morality.

He had a lot of supporters today as the issue came before the Council. Residents in the V.M. Ybor area, weary of prostitutes doing their thing on Nebraska Avenue, strongly encouraged the Council to support the measure.