Cicero is a city of approximately 83,000 residents, located just west of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Street prostitution has been a persistent and visible problem in the area, with commercial sex frequently occurring along Cicero Avenue generating numerous complaints to police. Sex trafficking is also known to occur locally. To address the issues, the Cicero Police Department and Cook County Sheriff’s Office routinely conduct street-level reverse to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Operations often take the form of large-scale, multi-jurisdictional sweeps, wherein teams of undercover female officers target hotbeds of prostitution activity in Cicero and the surrounding area. In May 2000, one large-scale reverse sting netted 217 men in less than 48 hours. The convicted johns faced a $500 fine plus an additional $500 recovery fee to retrieve their vehicles seized during the arrest. All offenders names were and continue to be released to the media, and are often printed in local newspapers.
- Reverse Stings:
- “Nearly 50 Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Tribune, March 7 1994.
- “58 Facing Charges in Prostitution Sting”, Chicago Tribune, August 8 1994.
- “Sting in Cicero Targets Prostitution; 37 Arrested”, Chicago Sun-Times, July 16 1995.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 23 Arrests by Sheriff’s Police”, Chicago Tribune, October 21 1995.
- “Suburban Prostitution Sweep Nets 104; Man with Grandson in Car Among Those Charge”, Chicago Tribune, August 25 1997.
- “Prostitution Sting Brings 22 Arrests”, Chicago Tribune, January 13 1998.
- “Prostitution Sting Targets Cicero Ave”, Chicago Tribune, May 30 1999.
- “Police Nab 253 for Soliciting”, Southeast Missourian, July 9 2000.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 106 Men”, Chicago Tribune, November 8 2003.
- “Police Crack Down on Prostitution”, Chicago Sun-Times, November 19 2003.
- “Prostitution Sting Leads to 65 Arrests”, Chicago Tribune, July 26 2006.
- Auto Seizure:
- Street Signs:
- Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Sheriff’s Police Seize 22 During Cicero Vice Raids”, Chicago Tribune, May 11 1991.
- “16 Arrested in Cicero Prostitution Raid”, Chicago Tribune, July 17 1992.
- “Who’s a Victim? More Law Enforcers Treating Homegrown Prostitution as Human Sex Trafficking”, Washington Post, September 2 2013.