Signal Hill is a city of approximately 11,500 residents, located near Long Beach and Lakewood in Los Angeles County, California. Problems associated with the local commercial sex market include child sex trafficking and cases of men raping and battering prostituted women in the community.
In the early to mid-1990s, in response to numerous complaints over the years, city officials and residents partnered with counterparts in neighboring Long Beach to reduce prostitution activity along the Pacific Coast Highway. As a result, the two cities developed and successfully adopted ordinances to allow for the seizure of arrested sex buyers’ vehicles, and encouraged the establishment of several neighborhood watch programs.
The two cities’ law enforcement agencies similarly coordinated efforts; in early 1990s, news reports note that several female police officers from the Signal Hill Police Department were recruited for and deployed in Long Beach’s many large-scale reverse stings. In June 2001, Signal Hill conducted its own street-level reverse sting. The operation sent female officers undercover along Pacific Coast Highway. Although news reports did not release information about the johns arrested (including the total number of individuals charged), one article noted that the men apprehended ranged in age from 19 to 70.
- Reverse Stings:
- Auto Seizure:
- Neighborhood Action:
- “Prostitution on PCH Targeted at L.B. Community Meeting”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, September 6 1993.
- “Community Meets to Discuss Anti-Prostitution Campaign”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, September 9 1993.
- “Task Force Against Prostitution to March through Neighborhood”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 13 1993.
- “March Targets Hookers, Johns”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 14 1993.
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Signal Hill May Put Moratorium on Strip Motels”, Los Angeles Times, May 13 1984.
- “Prostitution Target of Signal Hill Law”, Los Angeles Times, June 21 1984.
- “New Rules for Motels and Hotels Aimed at Curtailing Prostitution”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, July 23 1993.
- “LONG BEACH: City Adopts New Law to Fight Prostitution”, Los Angeles Times, August 11 1994.
- “Proposal’s Goal: Stem Prostitution”, Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 11 1996.
- Prostitution-related violence: