Decatur, AL

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

Decatur is a city with around 54,000 residents, situated near HuntsvilleAthens and Madison in northern Alabama, within Morgan County. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in the community, and residents have complained to local law enforcement about prostitution activity in some city neighborhoods. For example, in August, 2022, a man was arrested after being charged with promoting prostitution. An indictment filed in the Circuit Court of Morgan County stated the man “did knowingly advance or profit” from the prostitution of a person under the age of 16. He was arrested on August 31, and booked into the Morgan County Jail.

In response, the Decatur Police Department has conducted at least one reverse sting targeting sex buyers. In April 2007, the DPD’s Organized Crime Unit placed a female undercover officer along city streets in an area known for prostitution. Five male sex buyers were arrested as a result; an additional man was arrested after attempting to recruit the decoy to “work” for him. All of the men’s names and other identifying information were publicized by local media outlets. When asked about the operation, a representative with the DPD noted that “complaints received during recent City Council district meetings [had] led to the undercover operation.”

Key Partners

  • Decatur Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Alabama
Type City
Population 54344
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