Waukegan, IL

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

Waukegan is a city of approximately 89,000 residents, located in the northern suburbs of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois. Law enforcement and city residents report that prostitution has been a persistent problem in the area for decades. Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The Waukegan Police Department has adopted an aggressive approach to curtailing local demand for commercial sex. Officers have at times routinely conducted street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. For example, in February 2014 police conducted a reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of 11 sex buyers. Once arrested, sex buyers frequently have their names and other identifying information disclosed to local media outlets. A web-based reverse sting in February 2019 resulted in the arrest of 14 sex buyers at a Waukegan hotel. Waukegan Police may seize and impound vehicles used for solicitation, pursuant to a city ordinance adopted in 1994.

Key Partners

  • Waukegan Police Department
  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office


State Illinois
Type City
Population 88614
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