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.
- Pasco Police Department
- Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Pasco Prostitution Sting,” NBC/KNDO-TV 23.
- “Prostitution Alleged,” Spokane Daily Chronicle, February 19 1980.
- “Police Pleased by Success of Sex-Solicitation Sting,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 28 1990.
- Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Newport Police Officer Arrested; New Officer Admits Hiring Pasco Prostitute, Denies Rape Charge,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 5 1999.
- “Cop Accused of Rape Won’t Be Paid, Chief Switches Newport Officer’s Status to Unpaid Administrative Leave,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 12 1999.
- “Cop Charged in Prostitution Case; Newport Officer Was Originally Suspected of Rape, But Woman’s Story Called Flawed,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, June 16 1999.
- “Former Newport Cop Pleads Guilty to Patronizing Prostitute,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 15 1999.
- “Ex-Pasco Police Officer Is Suspect in 1986 Killing; DNA Evidence Linked to Spokane Case, Police Say,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 1 2015.
- “Former Pasco Cop Arrested in Prostitute’s Death,” Seattle Times, June 3 2015.