Gadsden, AL

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

Gadsden is a city of about 34,000 residents in northeastern Alabama, and is the county seat of Etowah County. Activity of street-level prostitution and indoor prostitution rings are known to have occurred in the city.

To combat consumer-level demand for commercial sex, the Gadsden Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings since at least 2010. In one such operation the GPD’s Special Projects Team arrested 11 male sex buyers between April 29 and May 4, 2013. The sting, called “Operation Stroll,” was conducted “to combat a widespread prostitution problem in Gadsden.” During the reverse sting, undercover female officers stood at locations known for prostitution and waited for men to approach them. The male sex buyers offered female officers between $1 and $20, averaging about $5 per solicitation. Some of the men offered illegal drugs in exchange for sex, and one man offered a bologna sandwich as barter.

In August 2014, the GPD conducted another reverse sting following complaints from local residents that “people walking to work in the area had been accosted by people asking for sex.” The operation, which employed undercover female officers as decoys, was conducted over a two-day period and resulted in the arrest of 10 male sex buyers. The men’s names were not released to the public. The GPD has also attempted to be proactive by warning the community about the dangers of prostitution and asking citizens to contact the Special Projects team with information or questions.

Key Partners

  • Gadsden Police Department
    • Special Projects Team

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Alabama
Type City
Population 33769
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