Is this the way you want your police dollars spent?
We have only limited police resources. It is all a matter of priorities. It takes quite a few officers off the streets to run one of these stings. Generally, the police put an undercover female officer on the North Tamiami trail making eye contact with passing drivers. The female officers will flirt and give off subtle signals to the passing men. If the men pull over, the female detective will walk up to the car and engage in suggestive comments and questions. Just pulling over and talking is enough to get you arrested. The men who are arrested have their cars seized and are subject to a $5000 civil penalty. The operations have “back up” in the form of uniformed officers and this generally ties up a half dozen policemen for several days.
Is it really worth it?
Prostitution is the oldest profession and has been around since the beginning of time. These operations target the “street walkers”, and the men who pull over, and not the high end prostitutes that work the hotel bars blocks away. Most of the real “hookers” are drug addicts and borderline homeless people who in desperation are selling sex to survive. These operations rarely go after the women hanging at the bar in the Ritz Carlton or Hyatt Regency or the downtown late night bars. Just getting arrested will result in your name in the paper and being placed on Mugshots.com. After that a Google search of your name will almost always result in a “hit” and prospective employers in the future will see and read of your arrest. Many men simply will not bother to fight this kind of entrapment and end up with a misdemeanor conviction, fine or civil penalty. My comment to the police is “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. These stings can destroy a person’s future forever. The same resources should be devoted to helping the “hookers” get off drugs, get off the streets and find a place to live. These women are desperate and need help. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.