- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2014


Buyers beware.

If all goes as planned, those of you looking to procure sex in one part of Maryland might want to suppress your urges over the next week.

The vice cops in Prince George’s County are on the prowl to bump up their arrest totals related to one of the oldest trades known to (wo)mankind.

But there’s a twist this time.

Police are not looking to merely take down prostitutes who sell sexual favors.

This time, John Law is looking at the demand side of the prostitution equation, the guys and dolls — and live-tweeting the sting.

If it happens it will be a first, and it could be a model for the nation.

The police department announcement went like this: “We won’t tell you when or where, other than it’s somewhere in the county sometime next week. The PGPD’s Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution sting that targets those soliciting prostitutes and we’ll tweet it out as it happens. From the ads to the arrests, we’ll show you how the PGPD is battling the oldest profession. Suspect photos and information will be tweeted.”

There’s a definite balance to be struck.

Police scanners used to make the announcements real time, too. So it only makes sense that social media be deployed in similar fashion.

Things could go somewhat sour.

New York City’s women and men in blue found out the hard way.

On April 22, @NYPD news account tweeted, “Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook.”

The response was overwhelming, with many of the photos picturing “old” suspected police brutality.

Tweeters do not always follow instructions, and any user of social media knows that many threads give the appearance of runaway unadulterated and unfiltered ADD.

Responses to the effort will likely be no different.

That does not mean it should be rejected out of hand, however.

Women have unfairly carried the heaviest weights for prostitution prosecutions.

With fines.

With arrests.

With broken and busted bodies.

With illnesses and diseases.

With free favors for law enforcers.

And with pregnancies.

And, please, do not minimize child-sex crimes.

Sometimes, those victims are never, ever found.

Sometimes, when they do find their way home, it wasn’t because they clicked their heels three times.

Recall, it was a year ago this week that three Cleveland teens who had been missing for a decade were found. Each of the three had been kidnapped and enslaved for their young bodies.

But there are also the young girls and boys who are trafficked along the I-95 corridor, land on a doorstep in Maryland and tricked on to the wrong side of the law.

You know child-sex trafficking happens across the USA and around the globe.

Pedophiles are everywhere.

Heck, look at child pornographers.

They don’t just take snapshots. They take videos of these child-sex victims engaging in unspeakable acts as “visual aids” for the voyeur.

The demand drives the supply.

These days, the policy-drivers are young victims of the LGBT community whose sexual identity meant they got kicked to the curb.

Buyers have been warned.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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