Mount Clemens, MI

Tactics Used

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

Mount Clemens is a suburb located in Macomb County about 15 miles north of Detroit, Michigan, and has a population of roughly 17,000.  Prostitution have been identified by community members as a serious problem dating back to the 1930s.  Teen sex trafficking is also known to occur throughout Macomb County.  In contemporary efforts to reduce the demand for prostitution, police have conducted reverse stings.  The city of Mount Clemens also can seize autos of those arrested for solicitation of prostitution.

Neighborhood Action

Around 2005, several neighborhood action campaigns targeting prostitution were launched in Mount Clemens.  This included informal or non-organized action, such as angry activists posing as prostitutes to confront potential johns who circled through their neighborhood.  North Gratiot Neighborhood Watch members spent two days  posing as prostituted women in an area north of the Mount Clemens downtown area, in a section known for its street crime. When potential johns pulled over, the activists handed out a flier that said, “If you’re soliciting sex and/or drugs in this neighborhood, you are being videotaped. Stay tuned for the 11 (o’clock) news. Zero tolerance.” Any videos were turned into the police department as well.

One Mount Clemens neighborhood chose to fight prostitution by erecting signs warning potential customers that they are being watched by area residents.  Similarly, a sign was put up by the Gratiot Corridor Watch, a group of local activists who have hosted a number of anti-crime demonstrations.  The group erected a sign with reflectors on it that read: “Prostitution Zone — If you are looking, we are watching” in front of a vacant house on Euclid, near Gratiot.  Some residents opposed the signs, believing they sent a negative message about the neighborhood.  A grandmother who lived near the vacant structure tore the sign down, believing that the sign accidentally served as an advertisement for street-level prostitution in the neighborhood.

 

Key Partners

  • Mount Clemens Police Department
  • Macomb County Sheriff’s Office

Key Sources

State Michigan
Type City
Population 16848
Location
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