Bowling Green, OH

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

Bowling Green is a city of about 31,000 residents, located on the southern outskirts of the Toledo metropolitan area, along route 75. It is the county seat of Wood County. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and nearby  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 local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted as a strategy for prevention and response. The Bowling Green Police Department and Wood County Sheriff’s Office have collaborated on web-based reverse stings, and have publicly  identified those arrested — distributing their names, ages, towns of residence, and photos to the media. A reverse sting in November 2012 resulted in the arrest of 12 sex buyers. Another reversal in April 2013 resulted in the arrest of four sex buyers. Operations in May and June 2013 resulted in the arrests of five and four sex buyers, respectively. In the 2013 reversals, the operations included participation from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification, Lake Police Department, Perrysburg Police Department, and Ottawa County.

In June 2014, eight sex buyers were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution after a sting in Bowling Green, and all their identifying information was released to the public. In August 2014, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office conducted a sting and arrested 11 people during a Human Trafficking Enforcement Operation inBowling Green. Seven people were charged with solicitation of prostitution, one was charged with procuring prostitution, and two were charged with solicitation of prostitution and child endangering. The names, ages, and hometowns of all arrestees were released to the public. The Hancock and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Offices, Bowling Green Police Division, and the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation assisted in the operation.

Key Partners

  • Bowling Green Police Department
  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
  • Lake Police Department
  • Perrysburg Police Department
  • Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Hancock County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office
State Ohio
Type City
Population 30677
Comments are closed.