Dothan, AL

Tactics Used

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

Dothan is located in the southeastern corner of Alabama, with a population of approximately 68,000.  It is the government seat of Houston County.  The Dothan Police Department practices both street-level and web-based reverse stings.  They perform these operations about twice a year, in response to citizen complaints.

To this end, Dothan Police have used both female officers from neighboring police departments , as well as civilian police department employees as decoys in some of these stings.  The use of civilians in these operations been somewhat controversial, with concerns expressed regarding the safety of the volunteers, but the department has responded with a list of all the safety measures that are in place during reverse stings, and assure the public that the decoys are never in direct contact with the johns.  The decoys are instructed to allow the potential sex buyers to initiate the conversation, and to only ask them what they want, and what they are looking for.  This helps to avoid the entrapment defense when the arrested man goes to court.  The names of the johns arrested in these operations are released to the media. For example, the DPD conducted a street-level reversal in November 2014 that resulted in the arrest of twelve sex buyers (including the Mayor of nearby Webb). All of the men’s names, arrest photos, and other identifying information were released to the public. In September, 2018 a Dothan man was arrested for soliciting prostitution from a female minor; the man’s name and age were included in news releases.

Key Partners

  • Dothan Police Department

Key Sources

State Alabama
Type City
Population 65447
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