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Police charged 12 sex workers and 27 of their patrons during a nationally coordinated sting operation meant to reduce sex trafficking, according to Pittsburgh police.
City police participated in the National Johns Suppression Initiative from July 28 to Aug. 22, during which time law enforcement agencies across 12 states target sex buyers, Public Safety spokeswoman Alicia George said in a release.
In its 16 th year, the initiative began in 2011 in Cook County, Ill., and it has grown into a national coalition, she said.
“It was important for us to participate in this initiative because our goal is to locate victims of sex trafficking and be responsive to complaints from our neighborhood residents,” Narcotics and Vice Cmdr. Reyne Kacsuta.
City detectives arrested 17 sex buyers, or “Johns,” in 2017. This year, they arrested 27 Johns, as well as a dozen sex workers and one individual who was charged with promoting prostitution, George said.
“These arrests will further enhance the quality of life in our city’s business and residential area,” Kacsuta said.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.