Signal Hill, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Signal Hill is a city of approximately 12,000 residents, located near Long Beach and Lakewood in Los Angeles County, CA. 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 noted that several female police officers from the Signal Hill Police Department were recruited for and deployed in many of the Long Beach Police Department’s large-scale reverse stings. In June 2001, Signal Hill conducted its own street-level reverse sting. The operation sent female officers undercover along the Pacific Coast Highway. Although news reports did not release information about the male sex buyers arrested (including the total number of individuals charged), one article noted that the men apprehended ranged in age from 19 to 70.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Auto Seizure:

Neighborhood Action:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 11563
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