12-Year Old Prostitute

As a police officer you tend to get a little calloused after awhile. You think you've seen it all, not much fazes you anymore mostly because you've decided to not let it. You block things out, accept things for face value. Its how you survive as a police officer when you see so much. But a call I was on the other day was quite sad to say the least. Was I upset? Yes I was. Is there much I could do? Not really except make some calls and do my job.

It stared with a call to dispatch that a father had found his 12 year old girl on the corner prostituting. He indicated that she also had crack cocaine on her as well. He was concerned (or so it sounded) and called the police.

When I arrived, I could see the family and the 12 year old standing on the porch. It was obvious the family didn't have much money. The father started telling us what he had seen, explaining that he was "concerned" about his daughter. However, he "said" he threw the drugs in the backyard, which made us a bit suspicious. He said the reason was so she couldn't find it. My initial thought was that he just didn't want her arrested and that was a way to do it.

Anyway, we learned through an Aunt what was really happening. The mother of the 12 year old apparently is a prostitute and taught her daughter how to do it, how to make money doing it, etc. (Mom was no where to be found). The father was labeled as a "crack-head" by the Aunt, explaining that he simply stole the drugs from his daughter. This 12 year old was put in a foster home about a month prior, a family that she didn't want to be with and ended up running away after the first day.

After checking the girl through our LEIN system, we discovered that there was a missing/pick up order on her. I'm thinking "Great, let's get her out of this mess" only to find out later that the foster parents are giving us excuses as to why they can't come and pick her up at the station. All the while this little girl is hearing all of this.

I'm thinking to myself "Wow, this girl doesn't have a dime to her name; her mother is a known prostitute; her father just stole her dope; and her foster parents don't want to come pick her up." I can only imagine how this girl feels.

At about this time, my shift is getting over. I order the officers to contact Protective Services if the foster parents don't show up by a certain time. Before I leave, I wanted to talk to the girl and basically give her my 2 cents (if she'd even listen), but she is so tired she's completely zonked out, and doesn't respond to me.

While driving home all I could think about was my daughter. I wondered "Man, if something happened to me and/or her mother, would she make the right decisions if she felt her back was against the wall?" I'm sure she would, but the whole point is these type of situations really make you think.

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