Smart policing initiative results in over 1K sex trafficking arrests

The National Johns Suppression Initiative has led to nearly 8,000 arrests of sex buyers since it began in 2011

By Police1 Staff

COOK COUNTY, Ill. — A series of monthlong stings resulted in the arrest of over 1,000 sex trafficking individuals. 

The National Johns Suppression Initiative ran its 14th operation in collaboration with 37 law enforcement agencies in 17 states, CNN reported. At least 1,020 sex buyers were arrested, 15 face trafficking-related charges and 81 individuals were recovered and offered services. 

The most arrests occurred in Harris County, Texas, with 170 arrests, and Seattle, with 160 arrests.

The National Johns Suppression Initiative began in 2011 to raise awareness to the exploitive nature of the sex trafficking industry and reduce demands for purchased sex, according to a press release. 

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart  proposed an ordinance Wednesday that would mandate the creation of a publically searchable database that would list names of sex buyers, according to the press release. Names would be eligible for removal after two years, if there are no repeat arrests.The ordinance would also double the fines to $2,000 for those individuals. According to Demand Abolition, increasing fines for sex crimes results in fewer repeat offenders. 

Officials in Arizona told CNN that over 400 people were deterred from buying sex after recieving texts, calls or website redirects that informed them about the impact of the sex trafficking industry. 

The initiative has led to nearly 8,000 arrests of sex buyers since its implementation in 2011. 

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