Mobile, AL

Tactics Used

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

Mobile is the county seat of Montgomery County, and is the third most populous city in the state of Alabama with a population of roughly 200,000. Numerous problems have been linked to prostitution locally, including sex trafficking of children, and the rape, assault, and murder of women selling sex.

In an effort to reduce the demand for prostitution, the Montgomery Police Department conducts periodic street-level reverse stings. The names of those arrested are released to the media. For example, a January 2013 citywide crackdown on both buyers and sellers of sex resulted in the arrest of 10 sex buyers, whose names were released to the media. A similar street-level operation in October, 2018 resulted in the arrest of 21 buyers and sellers.  In March 2018, a widespread prostitution sting in the Tillman’s Corner area was conducted that focused on apprehending people seeking to buy sex.  The Mobile Police placed undercover female officers standing on the side of the road and waited for potential customers to approach them. The ones that initiated contact with the undercover and made an alleged deal of money for sex were arrested by uniformed officers.  Mobile Police made 12 arrests in the operation.  The identities of the arrested persons were disclosed to media outlets. In June, 2019, the Mobile PD Narcotics and Vice Unit arrested 14 people on various charges during “Operation Supply and Demand,” a street-level reverse sting conducted at multiple locations across the city.

In March 2016, the Mobile Police Department Narcotics/Vice Unit made 13 prostitution arrests in a web-based reverse sting, “Backpage Prostitution Operation,” with the arrests occurring at various hotels in the Beltline area.

In 1997, media outlets reported that MPD officers had sent warning letters to vehicle owners seen idling in high “stroll” areas. It is unclear if this “dear john letter” tactic is still used.

Key Partners

  • Mobile Police Department
    • Narcotics/Vice Unit
  • Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team
  • Montgomery Police Department

Key Sources

State Alabama
Type City
Population 199158
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