Northwood, OH

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

Northwood is a city of approximately 5,000 residents, located just outside of Toledo in Wood County, Ohio. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city and surrounding areas. To combat demand for commercial sex, at least three reverse stings have occurred in the city. For example, in February and March 2013, officers from the Northwood Police Department and Wood County Sheriff’s Office, with the support of the Ohio Department of Criminal Identification and Investigation and FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, conducted two web-based stings targeting both sex buyers and prostituted women at Northwood hotels. Ten men were arrested in these operations. Some of the “transactions” were caught on police surveillance tape. Police noted that “information [obtained] from a similar arrest [in Perrysburg Township in February 2013] helped lead to the bust.” Undercover operations began in the area “after complaints of prostitution at a North Baltimore truck stop.” The department took training on stopping prostitution and found out there were many local online “escorts” advertised.

Identity disclosure and loss of employment are also consequence of buying sex that have occurred within the city. For example, in June 2018, a Northwood High School gym teacher resigned after being arrested in a reverse prostitution sting in Toledo. Toledo police said the man was among eight people charged during the sting in which detectives posed as prostituted women and then detained the suspects.

Key Partners

  • Northwood Police Department
  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
  • FBI Human Trafficking Task Force
State Ohio
Type City
Population 5179
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