Ocean City Today

Police overstepped in prostitution sting

Readers' Forum
Oct 05, 2017



printed 10/06/17



A few incidents over the years have prompted me to write an occasional letter to the editor, but nothing has incensed me so much as the recent story of police entrapment demonstrated by the prostitution “sting.”

How could the town council allow the police department to run so rampant as to create crime? Police advertised, enticed and carefully reeled their victims in just to make an arrest. Read that again: the police advertised.

There was no crime before the police went out and actively created it. And as far as crime goes, this example is pretty tame. Apparently one guy was merely guilty of cross-dressing. Arrested for a fashion faux pas? They could be hiding around any corner waiting to get me for a bad haircut. How long before they come for you for wearing white after Labor Day?

Legitimizing such police activity steers us as a community down a very dark path. I support the police in their request for reliable schedules and leave. I support them for all their service to the community – I personally have benefited many times from their assistance.

I feel for them when they have to go through the tedium of traffic control for countless town events. I fear for them when confronting truly dangerous and armed bad guys. But, this other sort of activity – one that preys on a defenseless and bamboozled public, and perpetuates the stereotype that a visit to our town will likely result in a criminal record – can do no good for anybody.

For all their effort, what crime did the police root out? None. They were just toying with people and ruining lives for sport. Of course other agencies were involved and they should be held accountable, as well. But the next time state police or homeland security or whoever wants to engage is such morally deplorable antics, our local police department should politely just say no.

Brian Demmler

Ocean City

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