Hanford, CA

Tactics Used

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

Hanford is a city in central California with a population of about 50,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Kings County. 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 are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.  For example, a woman who was arrested for human trafficking was sentenced to 13 years in prison for organizing a prostitution ring of 14- and 15-year-old girls. She was tried on charges of human trafficking of a minor, sending threatening emails to a family member of one of the victims and making terrorist threats in Kings County Superior Court.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response.  In 2009, Hanford police used Craigslist to investigate and arrest prostituted women and pimps and in the process, cited two men for soliciting prostitution from a female undercover police officer.  In a similar operation in October 2016, police again arrested two sex buyers and publicized their identities.

Key Partners

  • Hanford Police Department
  • Kings County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kings County Superior Court
  • Kings County Jail
State California
Type City
Population 49558
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