Albany County, NY

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Albany County is a county in New York with a population of about 305,500 people. It is located south of the Mohawk River and west of the Hudson River. The seat of Albany County is the city of Albany, NY., which is also the capital of New York State. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Albany Police Department and Albany County Sheriff’s Office have conducted street-level reverse stings and web-based reverse stings to identify and arrest sex buyers. Operations typically employ one or more undercover female officers, who pose as decoys. When men attempt to solicit sex from the officers, they are quickly arrested. For example, in 2001, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office conducted a street-level reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of a sex buyer who had agreed to pay cash in exchange for sexually exploiting a 10-year-old girl. The exploiter was arrested on two felony charges: one count of first-degree patronizing a prostitute and one count of first-degree attempted sexual abuse. The offender’s identity, photo, age, location, and charges were included in reports from local news outlets. In addition to releasing offenders’ names to local media outlets, the APD began posting sex buyers’ names on mobile electronic billboards along downtown thoroughfares in late 2009. Other cities in Albany County that have worked to address demand include Guilderland, NY. and Colonie, NY.

Residents and businesses have complained to law enforcement agencies regarding prostitution activity and the ancillary crimes it generates. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in April of 2021, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the New York State Police and others in a multiagency investigation into child exploitation and sex trafficking. The investigation took place throughout the Capital District and resulted in the arrest of fifteen individuals, whose names, ages, and hometowns were released to the public. Offenders were arrested on charges of Patronizing a Person for Prostitution 2nd degree, Patronizing a Person for Prostitution 3rd degree, Attempted Criminal Sex Act 2nd degree, and/or Attempted Rape 2nd degree. The agencies and units participating include the Troop G Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Troop G Violent Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, Troop G Computer Crimes Unit, the Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force from the Albany Division of the FBI, Rotterdam Police Department, North Greenbush Police Department, Colonie Police Department, East Greenbush Police Department, and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. The District Attorney’s Offices of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties were also consulted during this investigation.

State New York
Type County
Population 305506
Location
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