Sumter, SC

Tactics Used

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

Sumter is a city of approximately 40,000 residents, located in central South Carolina. Prostitution has been a well-documented problem in the city for several decades, and generates numerous complaints to police.  Among the tactics used to address such problems have been those focusing on the sex buyers.  Reverse stings have been conducted in Sumter since 1983, and continue periodically through the present.  In May 2010, the Sumter Police Department coordinated with officers from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Division to undertake a street-level reverse sting. The operation, which deployed several undercover female officers as decoys, was conducted in response to citizen complaints about prostitution activity in certain areas of the city. A total of nine johns were arrested. The names, ages, addresses and photos of those arrested for prostitution are distributed through press releases, and media outlets often choose to disclose them.  A similar reverse sting was conducted in February 2013, resulting in the arrest of seven sex buyers, and the photos of the arrestees were posted in local news outlets.  In January 2014, police conducted a web-based reverse sting in response to complaints from the community.  The operation resulted in the arrest of 17 sex buyers.

Key Sources

State South Carolina
Type City
Population 38625
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