Visalia, CA

Tactics Used

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

Visalia is a city in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley of California, and has a population of roughly 120,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified by law enforcement as a problem in the city.  Residents have complained to police about prostitution in certain neighborhoods, and in response to their numerous concerns, since 1988 police have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex.  The Visalia Police Department has conducted street-level and web-based reverse stings, and released the identities of the men arrested. For example, in February, 2019 detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with investigators from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Visalia Police Department, Tulare County Human Trafficking Task Force and Madera County Sheriff’s Office, conducted two undercover operations. Detectives set up fictitious advertisements on known prostitution sites and searched the dark web for potential human trafficking victims.  Nearly 40 men contacted the decoy, and four were arrested after appearing at arranged locations and solicited the undercover officer. During this operation, detectives also tried to find and rescue human trafficking victims on the dark web. Detectives rescued two adult females, one of which was believed to be a human trafficking victim who through force, fear and/or coercion was trafficked for sex. Personnel with Tulare County Family Services responded to the scene and provided the victims with help.

Key Partners

  • Merced Police Department
  • Visalia Police Department
  • Tulare County Sheriff’s Department

Key Sources

State California
Type City
Population 118603
Location
Comments are closed.