Arroyo Grande, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings
Arroyo Grande is a city of approximately 18,000 residents, located in San Luis Obispo County, California. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the commercial sex market in the area is sex trafficking.
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.  In September 2013, Arroyo Grande Police Department officers collaborated with their counterparts in nearby Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo on a three-day web sting targeting both sex buyers and prostituted women. Officers posted and responded to advertisements soliciting sex on, and arranged to meet individuals who replied at nearby hotels.When asked about the impetus for and timing of the operation, law enforcement officers stated that they had hoped ”to discourage prostitutes and their clients from hooking up” in local cities after two incidents of alleged violent rape, assault and robbery against prostitutes occurred in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo hotels earlier” in 2013. In a press release, the San Luis Obispo Police Department stated that “during the investigations of these and other crimes, officers learned that many such violent attacks on prostitutes occur quite frequently but are rarely reported by the victim. They fear they will be prosecuted for their illegal activity.” For this reason, area officers decided to join forces to “enforce prostitution laws” and “bring to the public’s attention the hazards of soliciting a prostitute or performing the services of prostitution.”
State California
Type City
Population 17924
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