“Report John” Platform in Vallejo, California

May 6, 2022

A program called Report John has been launched by the Police Department of Vallejo, California. In partnership with the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking and ​​Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation, the Vallejo PD is encouraging their community to use the Report John website, where they report vehicles perceived to be involved in soliciting illicit sexual activity. 

The website itself states “Based on information you provide, your local Police Department will send a letter to the registered owner stating that the vehicle has been observed in an area known to have high incidences of sexual exploitation and trafficking.” This type of criminalizing sex work by focusing on clients is referred to as the Nordic model, and those of us fighting for decriminalization are largely against it. 

More policing is never the solution to the root cause of trafficking, which is poverty. Another issue with this kind of “community reporting” is the tendency to profile certain people as “suspicious,” which is informed by racism, classism, and often transphobia. The final insult here is how many online resources that sex workers have used to share information and take care of one another have been shut down by the government, while vigilante websites like ReportJohn.org are established by city authorities.