Gadsden is a city of under 40,000 residents in northeastern Alabama. Street-level prostitution and indoor prostitution rings are known to be active 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 johns between April 29 and May 4 2013. The sting, dubbed 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 johns 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 reversal 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 johns. The men’s names were not released to the public.
The GPD also attempts to be proactive by warning the community about the dangers of prostitution and asks citizens to contact the Special Projects team with information or questions.
- Gadsden Police Department
- Special Projects Team
- Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 13 Arrests in Gadsden”, Gadsden Times, December 3 2010.
- “11 Charged with Soliciting Prostitutes”, Gadsden Times, May 7 2013.
- “Gadsden Police Arrest 13 in ‘Operation Stroll’ Prostitution Sting”, Birmingham News, May 7 2013.
- “10 Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution”, Gadsden Times, August 18 2014.
- “10 Arrested in Gadsden during Weekend Prostitution Sting”, Birmingham News, August 19 2014.
- Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Gadsden Police Chief Demands to Be Heard”, Gadsden Times Daily, April 5 1957.
- “Deputies Raid Alleged House of Prostitution”, Gadsden Times, January 19 1964.
- “Prostitution Charge Filed against Man”, Gadsden Times, July 28 1990.
- “Undercover Operation Results in Three Arrests on Prostitution Charge”, Gadsden Times, October 14 2000.
- “Cracking Down on Prostitution”, Gadsden Times, March 6 2004.
- “Gadsden Police Break up Internet Prostitution Ring”, Gadsden Times, July 2 2013.
- “Man Reports Theft by Prostitute”, Gadsden Times, August 4 2014.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: