Tulare, CA

Tactics Used

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

Tulare is a city in inland California’s Tulare County, about midway between Bakersfield and Fresno.  It has a population of approximately 55,000. The Tulare Police Department has conducted reverse stings in order to address community complaints about prostitution, including stings that specifically target sex buyers.

In July 2007, for example, seven men were arrested after they solicited police decoys during a street-level reversal in the downtown area. The sting followed a similar operation targeting sex sellers. In May 2014, a similar “sweep” was conducted targeting both johns and prostituted women, and netted four sex buyers. Following the 2014 reversal, the identities of all of the arrestees were publicized by local media outlets.

In January 2019 a web-based reverse sting was conducted in Visalia, and was a collaboration with Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Visalia Police Department, and Madera and Tulare counties sheriff’s departments.  Investigators posted adds on well-known escort sites such as “Skip the Games” and “Cityxguide.”  An undercover decoy was used, and her photo was posted along with the following message: “I’m HOsting lets play 2night!!!” A suspect reached out to the decoy through a text message and solicited sex in exchange for cash, and agreed to meet at a hotel parking lot in Visalia, where he was arrested.

Key Partners

  • Tulare Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 55308
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