Erie County, NY

Tactics Used

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

Erie County is located in the western part of New York, bordering Lake Erie. The county seat is Buffalo, and the population is around 950,000. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has worked closely with local police departments in executing reverse sting operations. Though the area began using reverse stings in 1997, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has continued to have issues with the local police stations really committing to sting operations targeting sex buyers. Buffalo launched one of the first john school programs in 1997, as an alternative to jail time for men convicted of soliciting who were arrested in reverse sting operations. Today the john school is inactive, due to the infrequency of reverse sting operations producing a lack of participants. Erie County also has Neighborhood Watch programs, and surveillance cameras in use in the Buffalo area.

Key Partners

  • Erie County Sheriff’s Department
  • Erie County Health Department
  • Buffalo Police Department

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey and Interviews

John School:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State New York
Type City
Population 954236
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