Vice Squad
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Publicizing Prostitution Policing

The police are a powerful segment in society, as is the media. They often team up in regulating vice; in particular, news reporters are frequently brought in, with cameras, to observe and record undercover sting operations. In Fort Smith, Arkansas, KHBS/KHOG could barely contain its enthusiasm in being handed an "exclusive," having its cameras along for a sting operation aimed at men who were looking to purchase sex. You might want to watch the video clips available from the linked story, to see a suspect manhandled to the ground and handcuffed. The reporters inform us that among the arrestees are the local high school basketball coach and a city employee, and I imagine that those arrestees' jobs are in danger, for being accused of an activity that is legal in much of the world. One of the videos informs us that in a later newscast they will be able to reveal all of the names of the arrestees! That will be helpful, as we certainly wouldn't want to live next door to such vermin.

It is one thing to record these terrible criminals in action, but perhaps it would be more of a public service if those members of the media brought along on the stings were to approach the men before the offending conversation took place, and remind them that solicitation is illegal and that the police are enforcing the statute. In that manner, these heinous crimes might even be prevented.

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