Signal Hill, CA

Tactics Used

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

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.

Key Sources

State California
Type City
Population 11465
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