Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced the results of the fourth “National Day of Johns Arrests.” Law enforcement agencies from across the United States continue to join the anti-demand momentum with a Columbus Day operation. More than 20 United States law enforcement agencies from 12 different states simultaneously conducted sting activities on the streets, in hotels and brothels, and via the internet around Columbus Day. The operation yielded 94 Johns arrests. This collaborative effort reports 937 sex buyers, also known as “Johns”, have been arrested as a result of four operations. Buyers of sex are increasingly becoming the target of law enforcement efforts to end prostitution and sex trafficking. Law enforcement recognizes that sex buyers perpetuate a violent and exploitative industry. If no one were to buy sex, pimps and traffickers would not be supplying bars, back alleys and websites with victims.
As a result of Columbus Day 2012:
94 men were arrested for soliciting sex
38 civil citations/misdemeanor arrests (includes prostitution)
7 possession/delivery of drugs arrests/charges
2 weapons charges
Participating law enforcement agencies in the collaboration include:
1. Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Illinois) – lead coordinating agency
2. F.B.I. Chicago Division – Orland Park Office (Illinois)
3. Aurora PD (Illinois)
4. Elgin PD (Illinois)
6. Indianapolis Metro PD (Indiana)
7. Gary PD (Indiana)
8. Boston PD (Massachusetts)
9. Los Angeles PD (California)
10. Phoenix PD (Arizona)
11. Las Vegas PD (Nevada)
12. Newport News PD (Virginia)
13. Cincinnati PD (Ohio)
14. Dayton PD (Ohio)
15. Denver PD (Colorado)
16. Nashville Metro PD (Tennessee)
17. Seattle PD (Washington)
18. Harris County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)
19. F.B.I. and other federal agencies in collaboration with counties and municipalities
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead in coordinating the nationwide sweeps as part of an on-going effort to highlight the role of sex buyers as perpetrators, while providing support for prostituted individuals through its Human Trafficking Response Team (HTRT). The HTRT is comprised of survivors of prostitution who work closely with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officers trained to identify victims that have been led into prostitution out of desperation and survival. Victims are offered services and safe housing opportunities to assist them in leaving their current situation.
Thirteen victims that were prostituted/trafficked during the sweep were offered rescue and restore services by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office HTRT.
Charges include 6 felonies for enticing a minor under age 18 for arrests made by the Boston Police Department. Indianapolis Metropolitan PD arrested 36 of the 94 Johns during this sweep. Newest jurisdictions to join this growing national effort include the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas and the Gary Police Department in Indiana. The “National Day of Johns Arrests” collaboration was piloted in 2011 during Columbus Day weekend.
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