In what they call an “unprecedented social media tactic,” the Prince George County Police Department is going to live-tweet a bunch of prostitution sting arrests next week.
“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,” said the PGPD in a release.
If you follow the PGPD’s official Twitter account, you can expect to see photos of johns as well.
— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) May 1, 2014
But there will be no tweets about the prostitutes themselves during this social media operation. According to Gawker, there was a bit of confusion when the PGPD first posted their intentions. Apparently, they used an image of a woman in handcuffs in their post (it has since been removed).
PGPD cleared everything up in another post, saying that it was never their intention to shame young girls and women, as oftentimes they are victims of human trafficking.
“Our Vice Unit will target those who choose to solicit a prostitute, not prostitutes themselves. The intent all along has been to put on notice and/or arrest the very people who exploit women and even young girls in our community. Some young girls and women involved in prostitution are victims of human trafficking. Our Vice Unit regularly helps trafficked women connect with groups and advocates who help them escape the dangerous sex trade,” says the PGPD.
Police departments all over the country have turned to social media to help with their law enforcement efforts, whether it’s monitoring Facebook and Twitter for information that can help them solve crimes, or maintaing robust community pages that engage people and enlist their help in finding suspected criminals.
But live-tweeting a prostitution sting? That’s new.
If you’re in Prince George County Maryland next week and looking for love in one of the wrong places, you might want to think twice, as the PGPD plans to broadcast your likely embarrassed face to their 11,000 followers. And to the police that are planning this “unprecedented social media tactic,” might you want to consider what this public shame can do to people’s families? Just a thought.
Image via PGPD News, Twitter