Glendale is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and has a population of roughly 13,000 residents. It is situated directly north of Milwaukee, near Lake Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Prostitution activity have been well-documented in the city and the Milwaukee Metro region. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. According to the FBI, the Milwaukee area has ranked among the worst in the country for the number of exploited minors discovered during human trafficking stings.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Glendale Police Department has collaborated with other agencies to conduct stings. In March 2019, a two-pronged operation resulted in eleven prostituted persons and seven sex buyers arrested in stings led by the Glendale Police Department. The first operation targeted escorts who had posted ads online. Police responded to those ads, and then arranged to meet at a Glendale hotel. Three men and eight women came to the hotel. They all received municipal citations for escorting without a license. Two of the female escorts were only 17 years old, and the other six women and three men were ticketed for escorting without a license. Later in March 2019, Glendale police conducted a reverse sting targeting the men who patronize prostitutes. Glendale police posted ads on a website and arranged meetings with the men who responded. Seven men traveled to the hotel room, where they were met by police. The men all received a municipal citation for patronizing prostitution,
Glendale Police said the goal of such sting operations is to find escorts and then determine whether they are victims of sex trafficking. Police provide them with phone numbers for women’s shelters and other organizations that may be able to help them. The escorts each receive a roughly $1,000 ticket, but they are encouraged to go to municipal court to talk to the city attorney about options to reduce that fine, which may occur if they agree to participate in programs or receive services. Glendale police have been able to arrest traffickers during sting operations, and in other the cases, they develop information and evidence that helps them build a case against sex traffickers. Glendale police work with Milwaukee police on bigger trafficking cases.
- Glendale Police Department
- Milwaukee Police Department
- Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office
- Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office
- Wisconsin Department of Justice
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Region:
- http://archive.jsonline.com/news/crime/Traps Prostitution Milwaukees North Side (2009)
- https://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/the-scourge-of-out-of-control-prostitution-drugs/ (2017)
- https://www.wisn.com/police-respond-to-social-media-post-of-girls-being-snatched-at-bayshore (2017)
- https://www.tmj4.com/glendale-police-say-no-reports-of-human-trafficking-at-bayshore-towne-center (2017)