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Downey is a city of about 112,000 residents located in southeast Los Angeles County, CA. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been known to engage in large-scale joint reverse sting operations in the city of Downey. The first known reference to reverse stings in the city was in 1984. Interviews conducted in 2011 with officers from the Los Angeles and National City police departments included mention of Downey as a city in which reverse stings had been conducted.
In addition to street-level reverse stings, the Downey Police Department has also conducted web-based stings. For example, in 2019, five male sex buyers were arrested in a web-based sting conducted by the DPD in collaboration with the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, headed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Two men were arrested for soliciting undercover officers for various sex acts; three men were arrested for pimping and pandering, a felony offense. Two women were also arrested on prostitution charges after attempting to exchange sex for money with undercover officers, but were offered victim-centered services from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. In addition, Downey Police also announced the formation of a sex trafficking unit comprised of investigators specially trained to identify, investigate, and apprehend those involved with the criminal exploitation of vulnerable victims. The unit would partner with county and local law enforcement agencies, as well as social service and community-based organizations that assist victims of sex trafficking. Residents are also encouraged to report any information regarding suspected instances of prostitution and/or sex trafficking to Downey Police.
A local law enforcement respondent to the 2022 National Assessment Survey reported that the city had conducted public education specifically targeting the demand for commercial sex from three to five times per year
National Assessment Survey 2022
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
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