Springfield, OR

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

Springfield is a city of approximately 63,000 residents in Western Oregon, located just east of Eugene, OR, in Lane County, OR. Prostitution has been a persistent problem for city law enforcement in recent years, with commercial sex activity concentrated along Main Street and the city’s downtown area. Among the more serious issues associated with the area’s commercial sex trade is child sex trafficking. For example, in March 2019, a web-based reverse sting targeting individuals seeking to sexually exploit minors in exchange for money was conducted by the Eugene Police Street Crimes Unit. Detectives posing as a 12-year-old girl, posted ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking and communicated with potential sex buyers online. As a result of the investigation, a 34-year-old Springfield man who had responded and arranged to meet undercover detectives, was arrested. Upon his arrival to the predetermined location, he was arrested by the Street Crimes team and then charged with online sexual corruption of a child and possession of a firearm. His identity and image were publicly released.

To address issues of prostitution and sex trafficking, the Springfield Police Department has occasionally targeted consumer level demand for commercial sex by conducting street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. According to reports, the Springfield Police Department has been regularly conducting reverse sting operations since 2006, and conducted at least six operations annually. During these operations, undercover female officers pose as prostituted women in areas known for high prostitution activity, and have at times resulted the arrest of more than 25 male sex buyers in a single evening. Police have been known to release the names of arrested sex buyers to local media outlets. For example, in 2009, the Springfield Police Department conducted street-level reverse sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 13 male sex buyers for suspicion of prostitution, a misdemeanor. The identities and ages of arrested offenders were released to local media outlets.

Due to an increase in neighborhood complaints, in 2002, the city implemented SOAP (stay out of areas of prostitution) Orders, prohibiting both sex buyers and prostituted persons from visiting areas with known prostitution activity, and/or the vicinity of their arrest. In 2001, officers conducted a street-level reverse sting operation in the city’s prostitution and drug free zone, that resulted in the arrest of nine male sex buyers for soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor. If found guilty, the convicted sex buyers would be banned from returning to the downtown area for up to a year and if caught in the area during that period, could be arrested for trespassing.

Additionally, if sex buyers plead guilty, and have no prior offenses, they may enter into a diversion program. Although the details of the program have not been made public, news outlets have reported that it includes several hours of mandatory community service. If a sex buyer successfully completes the program and avoids rearrest, they may have the conviction expunged from their record.

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

SOAP Orders:

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Discussion of Diversion and Community Service Program:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Oregon
Type City
Population 63209
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