Pasco, WA

Tactics Used

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

Pasco is a city with a population of roughly 53,000, located in central Washington state. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Franklin County.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response.  To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Pasco Police Department has conducted reverse stings.  the operations are usually conducted in response to complaints from residents and businesses, particularly in the downtown area. On average, a small number of prostitution arrests are made per year since about 2010, compared to the mid 1990’s when officers arrested over 100 people a year. Local business owners have said that police have a done a great deal to rid the city of prostitution through efforts including anti-demand tactics.

Key Partners

  • Pasco Police Department

Key Sources

State Washington
Type City
Population 52647
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