Police force plans to live-tweet its prostitution sting

The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland decides it's public-spirited to live-tweet a round-up of those who solicit prostitutes, pictures and all. It calls its move "progressive."

The image that originally accompanied the police post. Prince George's County Police Department

In documenting progress, sometimes I find tinges of regress.

I wonder, therefore, what you will find in the latest intentions of the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland.

This police force will not take crime lying down. It's going to take on the heinous and hit them where it hurts. It's going handcuff them. Its going to shame them and make them beg for mercy.

Yes, it's going to live-tweet a prostitution sting.

Some regard prostitution as a victimless crime. Others say it often involves human trafficking. Clearly, the Prince George's County police believe it simply to be a stain on the local society.

Or, if you take its word, it believes men who solicit prostitutes are the true sources of that stain. For on its own Web site, the police fired its first shots at the men, if only verbal.

It said: "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."

So a group of officers will round up alleged kerb-crawlers, while one special officer is deputed to clutch a cell phone and offer the Twittersphere some paparazzi shots? It seems so.

For the police blog goes on: "From the ads to the arrests, we'll show you how the PGPD is battling the oldest profession. Suspect photos and information will be tweeted."

The police department declares this move "progressive." Well, I suppose the stocks were seen by some as progressive in their day.

However, there's a soupcon of hubris attached here. For the police insist this move is "unprecedented."

Of course, one reason why it might be unprecedented is that other police forces might find it prurient, ludicrous, voyeuristic, perverse or merely a monstrous waste of time, money and a cell phone.

Still, perhaps something more exciting might portend here. Perhaps some infamous politician, or even law enforcement officer might be entrapped in such a twisted Twit-sting.

Perhaps this will make worldwide news when an apogee of happily married, family life is suddenly exposed as, oh, human.

On the other hand, perhaps it's a little confusing that, despite saying it's only going after men, the department originally offered an image of a female being led away in handcuffs to accompany this threatening post.

Of course, most residents of Prince George's County (and the world) will merely want to know which hashtag the police will be using. Well, it's #PGPDVice.

Yes, we all have our vices, don't we?