Roseville, MN

Tactics Used

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

Roseville is a suburb of the Twin Cities of MinneapolisSt. Paul, Minnesota, and has roughly 32,000 residents. The Roseville Police Department routinely makes prostitution arrests, as noted frequently in police crime blotters. Cases of sex trafficking have also been investigated in the city, such as a 2012 case involving a 17-year-old girl for which her pimp was convicted and sentenced to 21 years, and a case where a trafficker transported a 15-year-old girl to Roseville from Chicago and sold her for sex, resulting in his conviction for sex trafficking.

To address prostitution and sex trafficking, the Roseville Police Department has incorporated efforts to combat demand, including the targeted arrest of sex buyers and counseling programs for first-time offenders. For example, in three days in September 2012, police posted a decoy online ad and made 1o arrests of sex buyers at a hotel that collaborated with police in setting up the reverse sting. The hotel was the site of frequent tips and complaints by hotel employees about suspected prostitution and sex trafficking activity. The Roseville Police Department states that the department’s highest priority in investigating  and prosecuting prostitution is to prevent the sex trafficking and exploitation of teenage girls.

The Roseville City Attorney’s Office offers first-time arrestees a chance to maintain a clear criminal record if they agree to plead guilty, pay applicable fines and penalties, and complete a court-ordered counseling program.  The counseling program, typically offered through the john school program provided by Breaking Free, is designed to challenge attitudes and assumptions supporting participation in prostitution.

Roseville law enforcement have reported positive impacts from these efforts; in a 2012 press release, a RPD representative noted the city had a 76% drop in prostitution-related arrests from 2012 to the first half of 2013.  Roseville also saw a 29% decrease in total police calls for service to area hotels and motels compared to the same reporting period in 2012.  Roseville PD issued its news update after acknowledging that “some Roseville residents have expressed concern that prostitution arrests in Roseville have been in the news lately.” The news release continued:

“Police hear fewer complaints from hotel/ motel staff and visitors, see fewer escort providers advertising ‘services,’ and see an implied reluctance to carry out ‘services’ in Roseville due to increased law enforcement pressure. Undercover officers report a common theme from ‘escorts’ and  ‘johns’ who hesitate about coming to Roseville because the City is known for its police stings.”

Key Partners

  • Roseville Police Department
  • Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
  • Breaking Free

Key Sources

State Minnesota
Type City
Population 32474
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