Earlier today, the Prince George's County Police Department's Vice Intelligence Unit conducted a planned sting targeting johns. 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.
"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," said Sergeant Dave Coleman, the Officer in Charge of the Vice Intelligence Unit.
This enforcement effort was advertised in advance to warn the men who solicit prostitutes that they aren't welcome in Prince George's County. Due to the international attention to this publicized sting targeting johns, our undercover officers became increasingly concerned about the potential compromise of their identities. Those concerns prompted the department to change course. While it was no longer prudent to Tweet the information about the sting in real-time, we still wanted to honor our commitment to give our community virtual access to our Vice Unit which is dedicated to shutting down this type of illicit business and seeking help for its victims.
There is a misconception that prostitution is a victimless crime, yet in 2014, our department has investigated several violent crimes, to include rape and robberies, involving prostitutes and those who solicit them.
The PGPD has featured nearly a dozen live Tweet events highlighting our uniformed officers in the last two years. We’ll continue to highlight those officers who aren’t undercover. Our community has embraced those conversations and plans are already in the works for the next PGPD TweetAlong. Stay tuned.
WHO: Julie Parker, Media Relations Division Director, Prince George’s County Police Department
Sergeant Dave Coleman, OIC VICE Intelligence Unit, Prince George’s County Police Department
WHEN: TODAY May 6, 2014
TIME: 6:45 pm
WHERE: Police Services Complex
7600 Barlowe Road
Palmer Park, MD
Members of the media are encouraged to attend. For more information, please call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Media Relations Division at (301) 772-4710.