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Shirley is a hamlet of approximately 26,000 residents located within Suffolk County on the south shore of Long Island. Prostitution has been known to occur in the small hamlet. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
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. For example, in August 2008, the Suffolk County Police Department conducted a street-level reverse sting in Shirley and the neighboring town of Mastic. The operation utilized an undercover female officer who served as a decoy. When men attempted to solicit sex from her, they were apprehended by police. A total of five sex buyers were arrested. Each was charged with “patronizing a prostitute,” a Class A misdemeanor. Suffolk County officers released the men’s names and other identifying information to the local media.
- “Five Men Caught in ‘John Sting’,” Newsday, August 29 2008.