In response to recent dialog in Seattle about the role of the police, and the unanimous passing of
legislation to strike drug and prostitution loitering laws from the Seattle Municipal Code, SWOP-Seattle
would like to offer the following recommendations for police divestment.

This document was made in consultation with current and former sex workers from various
communities within Seattle. The types of sex workers consulted include sex workers who work indoors,
outdoors, at strip clubs, in massage parlors, and online. There are many sex worker organizations in our
region these days, and for further consultation we recommend dialoging with the Coalition for the
Rights and Safety of People in the Sex Trade, U.T.O.P.I.A., and POC-SWOP.

Any of the below recommendations would be considered advancements in police reform in Seattle.
Thank you for considering our perspectives. We are happy to discuss this further.

  1. Reduce the number of police on the force
    1. Cut overtime
    2. Cut patrol time
    3. Cut the Vice High Risk Victims Unit
      1. Sex trafficking has been conflated with sex work in Seattle since 2013, resulting
        in unnecessary law enforcement interactions with sex workers. This unit
        appears to be entirely focused on sex trafficking, and provides no indication of
        understanding the differences between sex worker and exploitation. “Buyer
        Beware” sting operations focused on “ending demand” result in the arrest of
        the clients of adult sex workers, leading to economic distress, decreased worker
        bargaining power, and increased danger and surveillance. People in the sex
        trade avoid these units, seeing them as unhelpful and dangerous.
      2. Despite being a well-funded policing venture, the battle to end sex trafficking in
        WA has yielded a mere 30 sex trafficking arrests between 2013-2018, but 3926
        prostitution-related arrests. Why are we spending so much money and making
        so few arrests for sex trafficking? Stop arresting adults consensually engaged in
        the sex trade.
      3. Funds should be reallocated to outreach workers with crisis and de-escalation
        training, as well as and nuanced understanding of the sex trade. Sex workers
        must be part of the plan to end exploitation in the sex trade.
  2. Remove police from the duty of responding to:
    – Homelessness and issues relating to quality of life
    – Drug use
    – Mental health crisis
    – Sex work

    1. End sting operations targeting clients seeking out adult sex workers
    2. End sting operations that target sex workers
    3. End raids on sex worker venues such as massage parlors, BDSM facilities, strip clubs,
      brothels, and incalls
    4. End efforts to shutdown prostitution websites.
    5. End investigations into sex work exchanges between adults, or into situations where
      no sex trafficking is plainly evident.
    6. Prevent the police from being able to have sex with people in the sex trade during
      operations and investigations.
    7. Prevent the police from enforcing (Stay Out of Area of Prostitution) and SODA (Stay
      Out of Drug Area) court orders.
    8. Prevent the police (and all branches of law enforcement) from accepting grants,
      financial awards, financial gifts or payments for conducting anti-prostitution
      initiatives in the name of combating sex trafficking.
  3. End the practice of the police being the gatekeepers to services
    1. Enable people to access services without having to go through the police.
    2. End the practice of police detaining and delivering “clients” to services and treatment
  4. Demilitarize the police
    1. Cut tactical training and programming for use of militarized equipment
    2. Cut funding for the purchase and maintenance of militarized equipment