Merriam, KS

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Merriam is a suburb of Kansas City with a population of roughly 11,000, situated in Johnson County. In an effort to reduce the demand for prostitution, law enforcement agencies have conducted at least one reverse sting in the community.

In December 2010, media outlets reported the arrests of 29 sex buyers in the cities of Merriam, De Soto, and Shawnee following a sting using decoy web advertisements. Although the identities of those arrested were not publicized, the Lawrence Journal-World reported that 17 men had been picked up in Merriam, in addition to three women charged with “promoting prostitution.” The operation was said to be a collaborative effort between the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Shawnee, Merriam, Prairie Village and Overland Park police departments.

Since 2008, men arrested for buying sex in Merriam have – when eligible – attended the “john school” program in Kansas City, MO run by Veronica’s Voice.  Between 2008 and 2014, Merriam sent more men to the program than any other city except Kansas City.

In July, 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas aimed at reducing the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that sex buyers would face charges. The campaign intends to promote a culture where sex buying is unacceptable.

Key Partners

  • Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Merriam Police Department
  • Shawnee Police Department
  • Prairie Village Police Department
  • Overland Park Police Department
  • Veronica’s Voice
State Kansas
Type City
Population 11174
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