Fair Haven, CT

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Cameras
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
Letters
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Fair Haven is a neighborhood in the eastern part of the city of New Haven, CT, in New Haven County, located between the Mill and Quinnipiac rivers, and has a population of approximately 17,000 residents. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the neighborhood and surrounding areas for decades. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Commercial sex is most frequently reported to occur along the Quinnipiac River and is believed to be fueled by New Haven’s long-standing reputation as an area containing significant drug use and high crime rates. Until recently, the majority of efforts to eradicate prostitution and commercial sex were oriented towards arresting people in prostitution.

Efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex in the area have recently been reported. For example, in 2008, the New Haven Police Department initiated a series of reverse sting operations for the first time in the neighborhood’s history, targeting male sex buyer in areas historically known for prostitution. According to reports, the NHPD arrested 22 male sex buyers within the first four weeks of the operation. During these operations, video cameras were used to record evidence of the sex buyer’s interactions and subsequent arrests by undercover female officers. The identities and images of arrested sex buyers were released to local media outlets.

Loss of employment is also a consequence of buying sex in the neighborhood. For example, in December of 2020, a former Fair Haven police officer resigned amid allegations that he solicited sex from a prostituted woman on repeated occasions. The investigation was sparked by an allegation that a Fair Haven officer had raped a prostituted woman in the neighborhood. According to reports, both on and off duty, the former officer would allegedly find the woman, tell her to get in his car, and rape her. A second woman made similar accusations, and once alerted to the allegations, the Chief of Police ordered an internal investigation in addition to the criminal investigation. As a result of both investigation, the former officer resigned from his position. The New Haven Chief of Police said that if the officer hadn’t resigned, he would have called for a special session of the Board of Police Commissioners to move to fire the offender. With his resignation, the sex buyer loses his state certification, which he would need to obtain employment with another department. The resignation does not protect him from potentially facing additional criminal charges. In 2021, the state’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) unanimously voted to revoke the former police officer’s certification. In November of 2021, a former New Haven police officer was arrested for patronizing prostitution, following an eight-month internal investigation. According to reports, on April 5th, 2021, a woman reported that the former officer attempted to solicit sex acts from a woman. The former officer was placed on administrative leave the same day as the report, and both an internal affairs investigation and a criminal investigation were initiated. As a result of the investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained, and the former officer turned himself in.  The warrant charges the former officer with patronizing a prostitute, and bond was set to $25,000.

Key Sources

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

Reverse Stings:

Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:

State Connecticut
Type City
Population 17328
Location
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