Sunday, October 09, 2005

Party with the Police

After cracking down on the strip clubs, it looks like our men in blue are, ahem, up to other activities. I am glad they have taken care of all the murderers and drug dealers so they have time to use our tax dollars for some one-on-one service. Viewer discretion advised.

Lynnwood police concede they engaged in "rarely used" tactics during an undercover investigation into a suspected prostitution ring.

Those tactics, which included officers allowing prostitutes to masturbate them in exchange for cash, have raised questions among law-enforcement officials, legal experts and the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office.

Lynnwood police Cmdr. Paul Watkins said he spent a great deal of time justifying the officers' actions to prosecutors to prove that the officers themselves weren't breaking the law. Snohomish County prosecutors on Monday filed a felony charge of promotion of prostitution against Myong Pang, 42, of University Place, Pierce County. On Sept. 30, they filed a misdemeanor prostitution charge against Myong Chow, 40, of Tacoma.

"The officers didn't cross that line of engaging in intercourse or oral sex," Watkins said. "I advised them no oral sex, no intercourse, that's not going to happen. That's the understood policy. There's no written policy regarding this."

But other law-enforcement officials who weren't involved in the investigation say allowing officers to engage in such acts, even in an undercover investigation, goes too far. The usual tactic, they say, calls for an arrest once someone agrees to perform a sexual act in exchange for money.