Solano County, 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

Solano County is located in Northern California, roughly midway between San Francisco and Sacramento. The county is home to the Travis Air Force Base, and includes the cities of Vallejo, Vacaville, Fairfield, Roseville, and Rockville. These communities and other areas of the county have reported problems with both street- and web-based prostitution, and associated sex trafficking and other crimes, for decades. The cities have documented cases of prostitution of minors, assaults and robberies of sex buyers, and felony pimping charges.

The tactics used to address these problems have included those targeting consumer-level demand. For example, the Fairfield Police Department has conducted reverse stings since at least 2006. In a survey for the National Assessment in 2012, the Vacaville Police Department confirmed that FPD officers periodically targeted demand by staging stings that target sex buyers. The stings have targeted both prostitution and drug-related crimes. Fake advertisements were posted online suggesting sex and/or drugs were available for a fee. The names of all of arrestees were reported to the press. A similar web-based operation was conducted in Fairfield in late December 2012 and early January 2013, resulting in the arrest of 36 individuals on prostitution-related offenses. In June 2013, the Vallejo Police Department partnered with law enforcement from the California Highway Patrol, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, and Solano County Probation Office during Vallejo’s month-long “Operation Goodwill.” Pursuant to that operation, the team conducted a five-hour reverse sting operation on June 7 that resulted in the arrest of five sex buyers whose names and ages were released, and whose vehicles were seized and towed. In January 2022, Sacramento police announced that they had made 55 arrests during a major operation targeting sex trafficking. The month-long sting operation focused on tackling the demand side of human trafficking, and the operation included detectives posing as prostituted persons online. Sacramento Police reported collaborating with agencies on reverse stings in other communities, including RockvilleFolsom, and Roseville.

Vallejo was among the first communities in the U.S. to launch organized neighborhood action that specifically focused on demand for commercial sex in 1980. Reverse stings were conducted at least as early as 1985, and the identities of arrested sex buyers were publicized. Neighborhood organizations have been active in working with police and conducting independent efforts to combat demand for prostitution. At one point, a Vallejo Police Department officer and staff from a nonprofit organization, Rosewood House, travelled to San Francisco to observe the First Offender Prostitution Program’s john school, and to meet with program staff. They recommended that Vallejo adopt a similar model, but reportedly, the District Attorney did not approve of the plan and the city did not move forward on planning a john school.

Key Partners

  • Solano County Jail
  • Solano County Sheriff’s Office
  • Vallejo Police Department
  • Vacaville Police Department
  • Prostitution Task Force, Vallejo Campaign Against Prostitution
  • Neighborhood organizations
    • Fighting Back Partnership
    • Ohio Street Watchdogs
    • Kentucky Street Watch Owls
  • Sacramento Police Department
  • Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
  • Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Sting:

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Identity Disclosure:

“Dear John” Letters:


Neighborhood Action:

Proposed John School and Auto Seizure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type County
Population 451716
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