Pierce County, WA

Tactics Used

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

Pierce County, located in the southern Puget Sound region of Washington state, has a population of roughly 775,000. The unincorporated areas of the county as well as the cities within it (such as Tacoma, the county’s major population center) have identified prostitution as a persistent problem, and there have been local cases of sex trafficking of girls and women.  To address the key cause of both prostitution and sex trafficking, the county has engaged in efforts to combat consumer-level demand for commercial sex.

Since 1992, police have been issuing “stay out of areas of prostitution” orders.  The county started a john school in 2005 that is used by the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, and Fife, and for the men arrested in unincorporated areas by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Key Partners

  • Pierce County Sheriff’s Office
  • Tacoma Police Department
  • Lakewood Police Department
  • Fife Police Department
  • Seattle Police Department
  • West Sound Narcotics Task Force
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service


Key Sources

State Washington
Type County
Population 773105
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