Hattiesburg, MS

Tactics Used

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

Hattiesburg is a city of about 47,000 residents, situated in southern Mississippi.  Most of the city is located in Forrest County, with a portion extending into Lamar County. Prostitution has been identified by police and others as a local concern, and there have been cases of sex trafficking in the area – including those victimizing children.  The Hattiesburg Police Department routinely conducts street level reverse stings using undercover officers in areas known for prostitution, in an effort to reduce consumer-level demand.  Arrested sex buyers have had their identities reported in the media and face fines and/or potential jail time.  For example, in September, 2019, a reverse sting was conducted in Hattiesburg to reduce the demand for prostitution. The Pine Belt Area Anti-Human-Trafficking Task Force conducted undercover operations in Hattiesburg, and arrested five men for procuring prostitution at a local hotel. Collaborating on the operation were the FBI, Homeland Security, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, Hattiesburg Police Department, Purvis Police Department, Waveland Police Department, and Meridian Public-School Campus Police Department.

Key Partners

  • Hattiesburg Police Department
  • Pine Belt Area Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Purvis Police Department
  • Waveland Police Department
  • Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
  • Mississippi Department of Corrections
  • 12th District Narcotics Enforcement Team

Key Sources

Reverse Stings and Shaming:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Mississippi
Type City
Population 50233
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