Prairie Village is a small city of about 20,000, situated near Overland Park among the suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas. Prostitution and sex trafficking are substantial problems in the area. We know of one reverse sting that occurred in Prairie Village, a web-based operation conducted in August 2012. The police department posted a decoy ad online and, in a two-day operation, arrested 13 men who arrived at a hotel room and offered to buy sex with a woman police decoy. The reverse sting was a component of a larger operation that focused also on supply (prostituted and trafficked women and girls) and distribution (pimps and traffickers) and resulted in 52 arrests overall. Police from neighboring towns assisted, including officers from Leawood, Shawnee, and Mission Police Departments. In July 2013, a similar joint sting/reverse sting produced over 50 prostitution arrests.
In July, 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas is aimed at cutting the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that buyers of sex face charges. The campaign intends to promote a culture where buying sex is not acceptable. It is based on the assumption that the money from sex buyers fuels a marketplace that enables sex trafficking.
- Prairie Village Police Department
- Leawood Police Department
- Shawnee Police Department
- Mission Police Department
- Johnson County District Attorney
- “Prairie Village Police Make 52 Arrests in Prostitution Sting”, NBC/KSHB-TV 41, August 20 2012.
- “Prostitution Sting Ends with 52 Arrests”, FOX/WDAF-TV 4, August 21 2012.
- “Police Cracking Down on Prostitution in Johnson County”, CBS/KCTV-TV 5, September 11 2012.
- https://www.kcur.org/post/new-campaign-aims-fight-human-trafficking-cutting-demand-prostitution (2018)
Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Man, Woman Arrested in Prairie Village Prostitution Bust”, FOX/WDAF-TV 4, August 10 2012.
- “Two Charged with Promoting Prostitution in Johnson County”, NBC/KSHB-TV 41, August 10 2012.
- “Two Plead Guilty to Interstate Prostitution Charge”, Kansas City Kansan, December 12 2012.
- “KC Man Caught in Prostitution Sting Handed 57 Months”, Topeka Capital-Journal, June 11 2013.