Mount Clemens, MI

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

Mount Clemens is a suburb located in Macomb County about 15 miles north of Detroit, Michigan, and has a population of roughly 15,000. Prostitution has been identified by community members as a serious problem dating back to the 1930s. Sex trafficking of teens 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 can also 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 prostituted persons to confront potential sex buyers 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 buyers 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 sex buyers 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 had 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

Reverse Stings:

  • “Police Conduct Prostitution Sting”, Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal, May 14 2003.
  • “Sheriff Cracking Down on Drugs, Prostitution”, Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal, August 10 2005.

Neighborhood Action:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Mount Clemens Targets Sex Cases; New Law Would Send Violators to Jail and Charge Them $500”, Detroit News, May 15 2003.
  • “Macomb Unites to Fight Crime; Since Deputies Took Over for Mount Clemens Cops, Police Presence Is Seen in Recent Crackdowns”, Detroit News, August 2 2005.
  • “Sheriff Targets Drugs, Prostitution in Mount Clemens; Macomb Office Will Start Policing the City July 1 When the 113-Year-Old Police Force Is Disbanded”, Detroit News, May 12 2005.
  • “Mae McKenna and Vice in Mount Clemens”, Local History Sketches, Mount Clemens Public Library, 2008.
State Michigan
Type City
Population 15473
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