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Home > Press Page

Sheriff to Seek Creation of Searchable Database and Increased Fines for Repeat Sex Buyers

Wednesday, August 2, 2017In an effort to target and reduce sex trafficking, a national coalition of law enforcement agencies conducted coordinated sting operations that led to more than 1,000 arrests, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

The National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI) ran its 14th operation from June 28 – July 31 and included 37 law enforcement agencies across 17 states. In total, at least 1,020 sex buyers were arrested, 15 individuals face trafficking-related charges and 81 individuals were recovered and offered services. Law enforcement agencies in Cook County recorded 141 sex buyer arrests.

Sheriff Dart started the NJSI operations in 2011 to bring attention to the exploitive nature of the sex trafficking industry and reduce the demand for purchased sex that serves to perpetuate a cycle of violence, mental illness and drug addiction for victims.

To help further that cause in Cook County, Sheriff Dart also announced today that his office will ask the county board to pass an ordinance that would mandate the creation of a publically searchable database that would list the names of sex buyers who are caught for a second or subsequent time. In addition, the ordinance would double the fines for those individuals to $2,000, up from the $1,000 mandated under the current ordinance. The repeat sex buyers’ names would be eligible for removal from the database after two years, if there are no intervening arrests.

According to Demand Abolition, increased fines are a major deterrent to buying sex. Since NJSI operations began, Cook County Sheriff’s Police and participating agencies from across the country have arrested more than 7,637 sex buyers. Cumulative numbers from the 14th NJSI operation are as follows:

Noteworthy anecdotes from the operation include:

Agencies who participated in the 14th NJSI* include:


*Special thank you to Demand Abolition for their continued support of this national initiative.

*Number subject to change based on additional law enforcement agencies reporting

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