Tigard, 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

Tigard is a city in Northwestern Oregon, of approximately 56, 000 residents, located southwest of Portland, OR in Washington County, OR. Prostitution has been known to occur in the area for decades, and businesses frequently complain to police about the detrimental effects prostitution is having on their businesses. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

The Tigard Police Department has been conducting web-based reverse sting operations as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the city since 2005, when police began to notice the local commercial sex market was shifting from the streets to online facilitation. For example, in May 2013, police conducted a web-based reverse sting where officers posted two decoy ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking, and within 24 hours more than 75 calls were made from interested male sex buyers. As a result of the investigation, five male sex buyers were arrested upon their arrival to the predetermined location by undercover officers. In August 2013, officers conducted a similar web-based operation resulting in the arrest of nine male sex buyers, whose names and ages were provided to news outlets.

In March 2018, four men from around the metro area were arrested in a web-based prostitution sting in Tigard. The sting was held in coordination with the Lake Oswego Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. Those arrested and charged with commercial sexual solicitation had their identities released to the media. The four arrested sex buyers were from a pool of over 70 contacts received by investigators who used various sex advertisements to entice prostitution customers to meet at an unidentified Tigard hotel. A similar sting conducted in late 2017, resulted in 40 contacts; detectives could have arrested each of those individuals, but they instead chose to give the potential sex buyers a verbal warning, under the condition that they would be arrested if they were caught in another prostitution situation.

Sex buyers have also been apprehended as a result of residential reports to local law enforcement. For example. in September 2014, TPD officers conducted another web-based reversal resulting in the arrest of eight male sex buyers. In this instance, however, police were compelled to conduct the sting after management at a local hotel contacted the department to complain about suspected prostitution occurring on the property. TPD officers then worked with the business to stage a sting on the premises. Police placed a decoy listing suggesting prostitution to a website known for commercial sex, and arranged to meet the men who responded and made an offer of money for sex. Following the investigation, all of the arrestees’ names were released to the public. When asked about the operation, a TPD representative stated:

“The Tigard Police Department believes maintaining a zero tolerance policy regarding prostitution is a way to help draw attention and address this criminal venture while possibly preventing the vulnerable from entering into this enterprise.”

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Oregon
Type City
Population 55767
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