Gardena, CA

Tactics Used

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

Gardena is a Los Angeles suburb of about 60,000 residents, near Manhattan Beach and Compton.  The city has longstanding problems with prostitution, and the police department fields complaints from residents and businesses regularly.  Child sex trafficking has also been documented in the city.  Gardena police collaborated with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSD) deputies on reverse stings designed to address consumer level demand for commercial sex.  For example, in 1988 the LACSD deputies raided a massage parlor and arresting two masseuses for prostitution.  After the raid, deputies stayed to operate the business themselves for an evening.  The spa’s receptionist and masseuses were replaced by deputies in plainclothes.  The undercover operation resulted in the arrest of six men on suspicion of soliciting prostitution.  Neighbors had complained for months that the spa was a front for prostitution.  The city has alos conducted traditional street-level reverse stings.

Key Partners

  • Gardena Police Department
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
State California
Type City
Population 58717
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