Elgin, IL

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

Elgin is a city of roughly 114,000 residents in northern Illinois, located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area in Cook and Kane counties.  Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, the city has conducted at least 10 reverse stings, to our knowledge. One of those operations, occurring in October 2011, was coordinated with other cities in an effort called “A National Day of Johns Arrests.” The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has co-coordinated several of these national (or more precisely, multi-city) efforts. The one in the fall of 2011 included police and sheriff’s departments from Cook County, Aurora, Cincinatti, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Newport, VA, resulting in the arrests of 216 sex buyers collectively. A more typical operation occurred in June 2014 and resulted in the arrest of six sex buyers.

The men arrested in Elgin were charged with violating a city ordinance. Vehicles can also be impounded when used in a crime, including buying sex. In the June 2014 operation, all six subjects were arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Sexual Act, a Class A Misdemeanor, and were given court dates in Elgin Branch Court. Their vehicles were towed under the City of Elgin local ordinance for “soliciting a prostitute,” which carries a $1,000 fine.

Key Partners

  • Elgin Police Department
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey and Interview

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Auto Seizure:

Proposed Identity Disclosure:

Neighborhood Action:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Illinois
Type City
Population 113911
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