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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Vice Detail

Drugs and Vice Division: Vice Detail

The Vice Detail's primary mission is to investigate felony organized criminal activity related to prostitution and gambling. The first priority is to investigate those cases where an individual is being forced or compelled into prostitution. These cases often involve juveniles who have not only been the victims of compelling and promoting prostitution, but rape, sodomy, kidnap, and assault. In addition, the detail is active in investigating the large number of local escort services to determine if prostitution businesses are being operated. The Vice Detail, in addition to arresting and convicting the suspect in these cases, also works closely with a number of local agencies to help provide options for individuals to get out of the life of prostitution.
Mission Statement
The vice detail, through the use of enforcement action, community education, and coordination with citizen groups, other elements of the criminal justice system, and other service agencies, will respond to complaints and concerns related to organized vice crime activities in the city. We will focus on reducing the recruitment of women into prostitution and assist those women already involved in prostitution into leaving.
Escort Law Shot Down
In the year 2000 efforts were made to pass a city ordinance which would regulate the escort business. Historically, most (???) escort businesses have been used as a front for illegal prostitution. The goal of the ordinance was to allow law enforcement to regulate the industry by establishing an application and licensing system that would limit the use of escort businesses to legitimate purposes only. Unfortunately, the law was overturned by a court ruling. Other investigative techniques are being developed.
Efforts will be made to expand the investigative scope of the vice detail. This will involve seeking additional resources to increase the ability to investigate and impact all vice crimes including; organized prostitution, street-level prostitution, and gambling and liquor compliance.
Overview of the Child Sex Trade
Every night thousands of children walk the street of U.S. cities prostituting themselves, caught up in a vicious cycle of abuse. They come from cities, small towns, and rural areas of every corner of our country. They have run away from sexually or physically abusive family situations or from the pressures and problems that are so common to all teens and adolescents. They have been lured away from their homes by false promises of new and exciting lives. Some have even been kidnapped. What these children have found is a life that in no way reflects the glamour that Hollywood would want us to believe is the life of prostitution in such films such as "Pretty Woman" and "Showgirls". Instead, they are victims of abuse and degradation that would horrify most people.
Some Facts

  • Child exploitation is a five billion dollar ($5,000,000,000) per year international industry.
  • Majority of victims are between 13 - 17.
  • Children as young as 10 are actively recruited for prostitution/pornography.
  • Exploited children come from a wide variety of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and represent a cross-section of urban, suburban, and rural youth. The picket-fenced home and faith filled family is no exception.
  • There are more than two and a half million runaway and throwaway youth on the streets of our nation at any given time and over one third of those left home due to sexual abuse.
  • The sex industry is about power, and the predators stalking these victims avoid anyone who may be uncontrollable or dangerous.


Myths About Prostitution
  • Prostitution is a good way to make fast money.

Money made in prostitution is made at the physical, emotional, and spiritual expense of the person who is being prostituted. Many prostituted women have their money taken from them by a pimp.

  • Prostitutes choose to go into prostitution.

90 to 100 percent of all prostitutes are victims of child sexual abuse and neglect. Most prostituted women who have received services of counseling indicate they were recruited into prostitution at around the age of 14 during a time when they were either homeless, in a crisis, or both.

  • I'm not affected by prostitution if i've never been paid money for sex.

To be used in prostitution does not require an exchange of cash. Many young women are exploited by having sex for a place to stay, something to eat, drugs, or alcohol.

  • Prostitution is an expression of sexuality.

Healthy sexuality expressed with another person requires self-respect and mutual respect. A prostitute/customer relationship is based on power often combined with violence and degrading behavior. Sexual enjoyment by the prostitute is actually repressed.

  • He's not my pimp, he's my boyfriend.

Significant others who benefit from a young woman getting money, drugs, or a place to stay in exchange for sex are in fact supporting a sexual exploitation of her. Most pimps would never call themselves a pimp and are skilled at hiding their true motivation, money, and power.