Maryland

How Maryland Cops' Plan to Live-Tweet a Prostitution Sting Backfired

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| PGPD

On May 1, Maryland's Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) smugly announced plans to live-tweet an upcoming prostitution sting. "We won't tell you when or where, other than it's somewhere in the county sometime next week," the PGPD said. Well, that sometime was yesterday, though the PGPD ultimately decided not to live-tweet the sting. And making this into an all-around win, all the (critical) publicity the department's plans received wound up deterring any potential prostitution clients from falling for the county's trap. 

Kind of delicious, no? Particularly considering the smarmy hubris the PGPD demonstrated in first announcing the plan, describing it as a "progressive" and "unprecedented" tactic in fighting "the world's oldest profession." The backlash to the PGPD's announcement was swift and widespread, however. Widespread enough, it seems, that no potential johns in PG County were stupid enough to take the police's bait.

In a press release yesterday, the PGPD announced that it had "successfully" conducted the planned sting, albeit without the planned prostitweeting

The event took place over several hours in the southern part of the county. On average, the unit arrests five to 10 johns during similar operations. Today, no johns were arrested.

Obviously I think not arresting people for prostitution is a happier outcome than arresting people, but how do police justify defining zero arrests as a successful sting? Because, see, they prevented people from exchanging money for sex in the county yesterday afternoon. Success is a relative concept, I suppose. Here's how Sergeant Dave Coleman, the officer in charge of the PGPD Vice Intelligence Unit, puts it: 

"I've participated in hundreds of stings, and I've never seen what happened today. By advertising this days ago, we wanted to put johns on notice to not come to Prince George's County. That message was heard loud and clear. We just put a dent in the human trafficking business without making one arrest." 

No, you insufferable, self-congratulatory moron, you did not "put a dent in human trafficking." You did not even put a dent in prostitution. You merely convinced commercial sex clients in PG County to cool it or head elsewhere for a week… Good job on making your job somebody else's problem! But, really, we should probably be celebrating all this as a welcome chapter in prostitution policing. Cops—or whole police departments—too dumb not to brag publicly about their awful entrapment plans do to make it easier for sex workers and clients to avoid arrest. 

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  1. Well, geez, I feel safer tonight knowing that these dangerous hookers are off the street. On the other hand, I feel less safe knowing that the cops are still out there.

    1. I wonder what the ratio is of people shot by rampaging hookers to those shot by cops throwing a “respek mah authoritah!” tantrum?

      -jcr

  2. No, you insufferable, self-congratulatory moron, you did not “put a dent in human trafficking.” You did not even put a dent in prostitution.

    Go. Elizabeth.

    1. =)

      His statement is just so unbelievably pompous and yet wrong….

      1. He’s a cop. What do you expect? Humility? Honesty?

    2. I concur. A beautiful sentence.

  3. So I guess all of the violent and property crimes in PGC are solved, right?

    1. +2 mayor’s dogs

      1. Wouldn’t it be -2 mayor’s dogs?

        1. Too soon.

  4. Prince George’s County. I feel like they are the Maricopa County of Maryland. They seem to feature in a disproportionate number of police abuse stories.

    1. Baltimore County cops have been in the news several times in the last year over abusive incidents.

      1. Go Towson!

    2. When I lived in the DC area, we referred to the place as “Piggy County”.

      -jcr

  5. Central Maryland is screwed up and only beat on a national scale by CA, MA, & NJ. But, Maryland’s Prince George County is in its own league.

    The one good thing about Hillary as a potential 2016 candidate is it pulls the wind out of Mayor Governor O’malley’s sails and money out of his 2016 Prez campaign fund.

    1. O’Malley isn’t going anywhere outside of MD. He barely defeated a Republican in blue MD and is generally hated here. He has less of a shot than Christie. Although I think Christie would carry NJ, I’m not sure if O’Malley could win in MD even as a Dem.

      1. Yeah, there was a poll done in MD for potential presidential candidates. He finished third behind Clinton and Biden.

        http://articles.baltimoresun.c…..ry-clinton

      2. I hope you are correct!

  6. No, you insufferable, self-congratulatory moron, you did not “put a dent in human trafficking.” You did not even put a dent in prostitution. You merely convinced commercial sex clients in PG County to cool it or head elsewhere for a week… Good job on making your job somebody else’s problem! But, really, we should probably be celebrating all this as a welcome chapter in prostitution policing. Cops?or whole police departments?too dumb not to brag publicly about their awful entrapment plans do to make it easier for sex workers and clients to avoid arrest.

    Elizabeth, I’ve said it before, but you really are a fine addition to the staff and Reason is better because of your writing. Thanks.

    1. Shhh! What do you want, for Matt to lock her up in the dungeon like he did with Kennedy? And what about Lucy?

      1. Kennedy and Lucy locked in a dungeon? You trying to make us horny?

      2. DON’T TALK ABOUT LUCY

      3. I’m actually currently locked in a basement with Kennedy & Lucy. How did you know?

        1. PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!

        2. Please, please, my heart is old.

          Sigh!

  7. OMG! 67% of Americans are racist extremists antigovernment Teabaggerzzz!

    http://www.rasmussenreports.co…..ullbrowser

    1. That’s why we need to start building the camps now. And it’s a jobs creator!

      1. They *say* it creates net jobs because the employee is very soon removed from the labor pool, if you get my drift.

  8. Referring to prostitution as ‘human trafficking’ pisses me off. It demeans the real victims of human trafficking.

    1. Yep. And yet it’s becoming the new default from cops & social services types …

  9. They should live tweet breaking into a mayor’s house and shooting his dogs.

    1. Like that would ever happen…

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..03299.html

      1. Spokesmen for the Sheriff’s Office and Prince George’s police expressed regret yesterday that the mayor’s dogs were killed. But they defended the way the raid was carried out, saying it was proper for a case involving such a large amount of drugs.

        Sgt. Mario Ellis, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the deputies who entered Calvo’s home “apparently felt threatened” by the dogs.

        “We’re not in the habit of going to homes and shooting peoples’ dogs,” Ellis said. “If we were, there would be a lot more dead dogs around the county.”

        Hmmmmmmm

        1. Shorter spokesman: we sure would kill us a buncha’ them dogs, given the opportunity and legal cover of.policy! Hell yah!

      2. Yep, that’s what I was referring to.

  10. I hate hearing about prostitution rings getting busted . As long as the girls are of legal age and are doing it voluntarily, I don’t see a problem. I think prostitution should be a legal profession that pays taxes and has health benefits like any other job. Consensual sex between adults is legal, but paying for it is not ? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

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