Grand Prairie is a city of approximately 196,000 residents, located in the suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas within Dallas County. Law enforcement and local residents have reported problems with street prostitution in some city neighborhoods for over two decades. Multiple cases of sex trafficking (of both minors and adults) and the targeted homicide of prostituted women have also been reported.
Among their efforts to reduce commercial sex sales in the area, the Grand Prairie Police Department has conducted at least three street-level reverse stings targeting johns. In May 1996, for example, officers launched an operation in the Houston Street area after receiving complaints from residents and business owners about prostitution in the vicinity. For the sting, a female officer was wired with a microphone and sent undercover as a prostituted woman. Eight men solicited the officer for sex acts; it is unclear if their names were disclosed to the public. Similarly, in July 2001, two female GPPD officers intercepted eight johns along Northwest 24th Street during a three-hour reverse sting. Again, it is unclear if the men’s identities were publicized following their arrests.
In 2005, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that much of the prostitution in Grand Prairie had relocated, noting “the industry dissolved or maybe relocated when cops decided that it worked better to arrest customers rather than the hookers.” Although cases of prostitution and sex trafficking were subsequently reported, no major reverse stings in Grand Prairie have been publicized since that time.
Grand Prairie residents have undertaken several efforts to reduce prostitution in local neighborhoods. These efforts have not, to our knowledge, targeted underlying demand, but rather focused on removing the “visible presence of prostitution” (i.e., prostituted women and girls) from community streets. In the mid- to late 1990s, for example, some residents established a neighborhood watch program to “drive prostitutes and drug dealers” out of the Dalworth neighborhood. Residents have also met with law enforcement and city officials on multiple occasions to complain about chronic street solicitation in certain areas.
- Grand Prairie Police Department
- Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Grand Prairie Police Arrest Eight in Prostitution Sting,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 3 1996.
- “A Stinging Rebuke; Periodic Police Stings Target Prostitutes and Those Who Hire Them,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 10 1997.
- “Police Arrest Eight Men in ‘John Sting’; Officers Target Area Frequented by Prostitutes,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 21 2001.
- “Not a Victimless Crime,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 27 2001.
- “Seamy Aspects Are out There, Believe It or Not,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 9 2005.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “A Neighborhood Fed up with Increasing Crime Is Trying to Take Back the Streets,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, February 18 1992.
- “‘Zero Tolerance’ Program Starts in GP High-Crime Area,” Dallas Morning News, February 20 1992.
- “Grand Prairie Officials, Police to Hold Crime-Watch Meetings,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 24 1992.
- “Longtime GP Resident Fed up with Crime; She, Others Plan to Form Neighborhood Watch Group,” Dallas Morning News, September 24 1992.
- “Woman Receives Probation in Prostitution Network Case,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 10 1992.
- “Code Officials Order Grand Prairie Motel Closed,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 26 1993.
- “Motels Targeted in Prostitution Sting by Police,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 8 1995.
- “On Guard,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 11 1995.
- “Community Mobilizes for Mission; Group in Grand Prairie Targets Prostitutes, Dealers,” Dallas Morning News, May 24 1997.
- “Residents Resist Encroaching Crime; Grand Prairie Activists Disrupting Drug Sales, Prostitution,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 25 1997.
- “Grand Prairie Adult Business District Put on Hold; Residents Decry Plan that Could Create ‘War Zone’,” Dallas Morning News, December 17 1997.
- “Grand Prairie Looks to Reclaim Tyre Park; Residents Want Concrete Barriers Removed,” Arlington Morning News, March 23 1998.
- “20-Year-Old Man Arrested Thursday Morning after Hour-Long Police Chase in Grand Prairie,” Dallas Morning News, January 30 2014.
- “Man Leaps out of Vehicle during Police Chase,” NBC/KXAS-TV 5, February 8 2014.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Sex, Drugs and Danger; Grand Prairie Prostitutes Pay High Price to Feed Crack Addiction,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 29 1995.
- “Two Deaths Show Peril of Lifestyle; Streetwalkers Lead a Sometimes Violent Existence, Rarely Reporting Abuse, Police Say,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 29 1995.
- “Dead-End Street; She Died a Homeless Prostitute, Slain by a Killer Who Left Few Clues. Now, Her Death Is as Hard to Explain as the Decline of Her Life,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 8 2001.