Anchorage, AK

Tactics Used

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

Anchorage is a city of approximately 280,000 residents, making it Alaska’s largest city. Anchorage residents comprise nearly half of the state’s population. There is a long history of widespread prostitution in the city, dating back to the gold rush and fueled in part by industries that are staffed predominantly by men (e.g., oilfield work, fisheries).  Sex trafficking has also been identified in the city and surrounding areas, including the Mat-Su Valley, and such cases have been investigated and successfully prosecuted.  The city has also had cases of prostituted women murdered and mutilated, and has been the site of at least one serial killer, who specifically targeted prostituted women – and murdered at least 17.

Driven in part by community complaints, Anchorage police have engaged in a number of strategies to combat prostitution and sex trafficking, and have chosen to address their source: consumer-level demand.  Anchorage police conduct periodic street-level and web-based reverse stings.  Arrestees may have their identities publicized, their autos seized, be placed on geographic probation (SOAP order), and perform community service as a condition of a sentence for soliciting.  By municipal ordinance, auto seizure can occur after any first-time arrest, but after a second arrest police can start forfeiture proceedings on vehicles seized from johns.

Key Partners

  • Anchorage Police Department
  • FBI
  • State of Alaska Task Force on the Crimes of Human Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution and Sex Trafficking

Key Sources


State Alaska
Type City
Population 279671
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