Muskegon Heights, MI

Tactics Used

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

Muskegon Heights is a small city of close to 11,000 residents, situated northwest of Grand Rapids near Muskegon and Norton Shores in Muskegon County, Michigan. Prostitution has posed chronic and visible problems in the community for several years. In 2012, for example, two adults and one juvenile female were convicted of kidnapping a woman involved in prostitution and holding her against her will for several hours at a Muskegon Heights motel. In addition, in May 2015, a john was implicated in two non-fatal shootings targeting sex sellers; on two separate occasions, the man allegedly shot a woman in the leg as “he pulled up to [her] in a car in the early morning hours on Muskegon Heights streets.” One of the victims was described as a “known prostitute” by local media outlets. In separate incidents in 2000 and 2002, cases of robberies and assaults on sex buyers were also documented.

Although demand-reduction efforts in the community remain limited, the Muskegon Heights Police Department has conducted at least one reverse sting targeting johns. In January 2001, the Muskegon Chronicle reported the arrests of four men and one woman following a MHPD prostitution sting in the downtown area. The “four male customers” were issued misdemeanor citations for “soliciting for prostitution.” Their vehicles were also seized and impounded. It is unclear if the logistical details of the operation– including the identities of the men arrested– were disclosed to the public in the days following the sting.


Key Partners

  • Muskegon Heights Police Department

Key Sources

State Michigan
Type City
Population 10789
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