Pulaski County, AR

Tactics Used

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

Pulaski County, Arkansas has an approximate population of 373,000, the majority living in the city of Little Rock.  The state Criminal Information Center reports that in 2010, there were 126 arrests for solicitation of children and indecency with a child in Arkansas.  In Pulaski County specifically, prostitution is a well-documented problem leading to numerous complaints from the community, and prompting neighborhood associations to organize and pressure police to address the problem.

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 Independence County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) has conducted operations targeting demand. In January 2019, it was reported that Independence, Pulaski, and Dallas counties in Arkansas were conducting online reverse stings targeting individuals seeking to buy sex with children. Through the end of 2018, a series of internet operations by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) had made 40 arrests for Internet Stalking of a Child. But in early 2019, the department was shifting attention to commercial sex and sex trafficking facilitated by social media and online ads. DCSO deputies received hundreds of responses to their decoy chats and ads, and more responses form sex buyers appeared as soon as they cleared each case. Most of the responses were from potential predators, who believe they’re talking to a teen girl and setting up meetings for sex. Given the demand for sex with children, the DCSO has expanded its use of social media to apprehend those paying for sex with adults. Some of the men ask the undercover officers if they can download video software and offer to pay for “performances” of sex acts. Six men were arrested the first week the DCSO began online reverse stings. Reports stated that Pulaski County and Independence County were conducting similar operations to fight online sex crimes such as child sex trafficking and prostitution by targeting sex buyers and sexual predators. All three counties have reached out to the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Attorney General’s office to expand their reach and resources for these operations.

Key Partners

  • Pulaski County Sherriff’s office
State Arkansas
Type County
Population 373911
Location
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