Dania Beach, FL

Tactics Used

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

Dania Beach is a city of approximately 30,000 residents, located near Hollywood in Broward County, Florida. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and surrounding areas.

Reverse stings have been conducted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in the city since at least 1986. In 2000, Operation START (Sheriff’s Targeted Anti-Crime Response Team) worked to combat prostitution and drugs, arresting about 650 people on various charges (including buying sex) in Dania Beach alone.

From 1999 to 2004, city law enforcement reserved the right to seize the vehicles of those arrested for prostitution and drug-related crimes. During this time, the city established anti-prostitution zones where repeat offenders could be arrested for being in the targeted area. The auto seizure law has since been overruled by county courts; it is unclear if the city’s exclusions zones remain in place.

In late February 2015, media outlets reported the arrest of at least one john during a web-based reverse sting. Broward County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the john at a Dania Beach hotel room after the man responded to an online advertisement for prostitution posted by law enforcement. The man, a police chief in nearby Miami Gardens, had his name publicized in several media outlets. It is unclear if other sex buyers were picked up during the sting.

The Florida State Legislature passed a bill that was signed into law in June, 2019, that creates a registry of convicted sex buyers and provides a publicly-accessible listing of their identities. The registry data includes the names, addresses and photos of people found guilty of soliciting sex from a prostituted person. The database is part of a broader piece of legislation aimed at combating human trafficking by lowering demand for commercial sex.  If fully implemented, all communities in Florida would be included as using shaming as a tactic applied to arrested sex buyers.

 

Key Partners

  • Broward County Sheriff’s Office

 

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Shaming:

Auto Seizure (Discontinued):

SOAP Orders:

Sex Trafficking in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Florida
Type City
Population 21477
Location
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