Alpena, MI

Tactics Used

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

Alpena is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Alpena County. It is considered to be part of northern Michigan. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located in the city. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census, making Alpena the largest city in the sparsely populated Northeast Michigan (lower peninsula) area, serving as its commercial and cultural hub. It is considered to be one of the two anchor cities of Northern Michigan, along with Traverse City. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Alpena County.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Michigan State Police, multi-jurisdictional task force teams, sheriff’s offices, and city police departments collaborated in 2018 to conduct enforcement operations across 19 counties in northern Michigan aimed at arresting individuals using the Internet to purchase sex. Between February and June, thirty-five arrests had been made in seven counties, during nine enforcement initiatives. Seventy criminal counts were evenly split between charges for solicitation for prostitution and for using a computer to commit a crime. The photos and identities of the arrested men were included in news releases. Alpena was one of the locations in which the web-based reverse stings were conducted, resulting in the arrest of two men in April of 2018. Other cities included in the large-scale collaboration were Traverse City, Cadillac, Houghton Lake, Lewiston, Gaylord, and Petoskey.

Key Partners

  • Michigan State Police
  • Alpena Police Department
  • Alpena County Sheriff’s Office
State Michigan
Type City
Population 10483
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