Buyers of sex are increasingly becoming the target of law enforcement efforts to end prostitution and sex trafficking. Police recognize that sex buyers perpetuate a violent, exploitative industry. If no one were buying sex, pimps would not be supplying bars, back alleys, and websites with victims.
Under the leadership of Sherriff Dart, Cook County (IL) Sheriff’s Office has organized five “National Day of Johns Arrests.” The most recent sweep coincided with the 2013 Super Bowl. More than 20 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, worked together in 13 different states, simultaneously conducting sting activities on the streets, in hotels, in brothels, via the internet, and elsewhere.
Public awareness around the operation was made possible by a grant from Demand Abolition. This includes the replication of more than 4,000 “Johns School” DVDs for distribution to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Produced by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, these DVDs provide an overview of content found in first offender prostitution programs, or “john schools.” As in the classes, the DVD aims to deter men from purchasing sex by educating them about the harms and consequences of prostitution on themselves, on the people they purchase, and on the community.
Demand Abolition did not fund, nor was involved in, the logistics of the police operations.
|Jurisdiction||Sweep 1||Sweep 2||Sweep 3||Sweep 4||Sweep 5|
|Cook County Sheriff’s Office (IL)|
|Aurora Police Department (IL)|
|Boston Police Department (MA)|
|Cincinnati Police Department (OH)|
|Dayton Police Department (OH)|
|Denver Police Department (CO)|
|Elgin Police Department (IL)|
|Gary Police Department (IN)|
|Harris County Police Department (TX)|
|Indianapolis Police Department (IN)|
|Kane County Sheriff’s Office (IL)|
|Las Vegas Police Department (NV)|
|Los Angeles Police Department (CA)|
|Newport News Police Department (VA)|
|Nashville Metro Police Department (TN)|
|Pittsburgh Police Department (PA)|
|Phoenix Police Department (AZ)|
|Seattle Police Department (WA)|
|The FBI and other federal agencies have worked in collaboration with all participating counties and municipalities.|
Press Releases and Coverage
Press Release – February 7, 2013 “John” sting yields more than 200 arrests
Press Release – October 17, 2012 Columbus Day 2012: Law Enforcement Agencies Across the Nation Continue to Target “Johns”
Press Release – August 20, 2012 Buyer beware: Law enforcement across the nation targets “Johns” to end human trafficking
Press Release – February 7, 2012 Championship Numbers Tell Sad Story
Sweep 3 Coverage
Cops focusing more on "johns" in prostitution busts
For years, police said, their focus was arresting prostitutes, especially those working on the street. It’s a significant change in attitude, said Dayton police Sgt. Chris Fischer.
66 men arrested in Cook County following nationwide prostitution sting
"Human trafficking is a worldwide concern that is affecting even the smallest of communities and neighborhoods and occurring in even the safest of places," said Sheriff Tom Dart in a prepared statement.
LVMPD "Buyer Beware" Program Arrests 144
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police announced the arrests of 144 individuals during a 10-day nationwide anti-prostitution operation named "Buyer Beware."
Sweep 2 Coverage
Want to buy sex in Massachusetts? Think again
An op-ed by Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Ambassador Swanee Hunt warns buyers of sex in Massachusetts to think again.
BPD’s Web hooker sting nets 15 would-be johns
Boston cops launched a crackdown that has netted 15 would-be customers just as the penalty for seeking sex for cash is about to skyrocket.
Cook County leads 8-state prostitution sting
Police in eight states participated in prostitution stings over the past 10 days, coordinated by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
Sweep 1 Coverage
The prostitution turnstile: 32 men arrested in sting
The Cincinnati Police Department’s vice unit took part in a nationwide sting operation to catch men soliciting for sex from a prostitute.
Dozens charged during operation to target johns in Newport News
"When I first started this job, I never thought that prostitution was what it was," confessed D, a police officer working undercover as a hooker.