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Question for anyone ever involved in vice type stings

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  • Question for anyone ever involved in vice type stings

    Simple question, but obviously we don't need to go into operational plans or procedures here.
    Have you EVER heard of using a civilian employee as bait in a craigslist/backpage john sting?
    I ask because I have been told of a plan by a department to do this.
    I see a number of problems here, the least of which is testimony of a non-sworn person (everything will be video-audio taped). The worst is a safety issue, even with officers in the next adjoining room.
    The person is a department secretary.

    Thought and comments please.
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  • #2
    Never heard of that before. A cop, sure. A CI, maybe. Never heard of a secretary, though.

    I could see a whole bunch of liability issues involved with using a non-sworn, untrained civilian.
    Last edited by Danny216; 01-06-2012, 04:46 PM.
    The only time you can have too much ammunition is when you're swimming or on fire

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    • #3
      Wow. Just, wow. That is not normal, anywhere. I would have HUGE problems with this.

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      • #4
        We use kids for catching ABC violations. Have them walk into bars and liquor stores, trying to buy a drink. We use CI's for controlled buys and such. Never heard of using a secretary though...maybe the supervisor just wants her to pose in some provocative pictures and is trying to skirt the sexual harassment beef
        "For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:4

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        • #5
          I've heard of it, I think it's a bad idea.
          Also not the best example (but the most widely known), think of the "To Catch a Predator" show.

          As far as the testimony goes, it depends on the judge and prosecutor. As far as my prosecutor cares, I can get my RS or PC on the word of an agency employee alone (with nothing on my part). I've done it, it's not the perfect, but I have yet for it to bit me (or anyone else).
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          • #6
            They need to hire better looking cops.

            M-11
            “All men dream...... But not equally..
            Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
            but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
            for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

            TE Lawrence

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            • #7
              While the use of civilians who are otherwise unaffiliated with a law enforcement agency is commonplace, the use of a departmental employee moves you towards potential issues. While in the eyes of the law end likely agency policy they are unsworn/non-enforcement, the argument that they are nonetheless “agents” of the agency come into play. Everything they say and do will be subject to enhanced scrutiny after the event and the fact that they are a paid employee will raise more issues than can be imagined.

              Liability reigns supreme in this land and to use a civilian employee in this capacity raises more concerns that I could ever see being offset by any potential benefit. If you are hard presses for “bait” consider using a cooperating witness/informant who is vetted and acknowledges their participation. Failing that, consider co-opting a neighboring agency for human assistance.

              If I was approached with this scenario in the risk assessment of an undercover operation, I would 86 it on the spot. There are far too many options available beyond this scenario.
              Originally posted by SSD
              It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603
              And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sgt jon View Post
                ... they are nonetheless “agents” of the agency come into play. Everything they say and do will be subject to enhanced scrutiny after the event and the fact that they are a paid employee will raise more issues than can be imagined. [/b]
                Sgt Jon- I value your opinion greatly. Please give some examples of issues potentially raised. I am using this for "ammo" when I refuse to work this detail.
                I really appreciate the input.
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                In 2015, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $400 to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

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                • #9
                  UPDATE:
                  We canned the idea of going for Johns (and using female employees as bait), and went for the prostitutes. Between 2:00PM and midnight, we arrested 11 prostitutes, and six pimps, on a Thursday night. Also got some weed and morphine.
                  Very interesting how it all came together, and a lot of interesting stories!!!
                  SUPPORT COP RUN BUSINESSES!!
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                  In 2015, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $400 to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

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                  • #10
                    double post
                    SUPPORT COP RUN BUSINESSES!!
                    SUPPORT LEO BUSINESSES!



                    In 2015, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $400 to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

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                    • #11
                      Glad you got it all figured out. Putting non-sworn department employees into an option is rarely a good idea.

                      Another option for going after "Johns" is to have male officers dress in drag. I've seen this work at several departments. You will be amazed as to how successful this type of operation can be. Not to mention the "priceless memories" that you will have of your brother officers who drew the short straws. :-)
                      Getting shot hurts. Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you. My personal thoughts is to avoid being shot by any caliber.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bigcitypolice06 View Post
                        We use kids for catching ABC violations. Have them walk into bars and liquor stores, trying to buy a drink. We use CI's for controlled buys and such. Never heard of using a secretary though...maybe the supervisor just wants her to pose in some provocative pictures and is trying to skirt the sexual harassment beef
                        Of all people. AD Vice did this 30 years ago. A couple of times I dated/slept with the Clerk-Typist they used as a partner to a sworn woman cop...

                        Yeah, that Clerk-Typist was a bit on the trashy side...maybe that's why they selected her for the assignment.

                        Did it work? Yeah, probably.

                        Was it a good idea? Nooooooooo waaaaaaaay! But, hey, they were the "cream of the crop" at Ad Vice.
                        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                          A couple of times I dated/slept with the Clerk-Typist they used as a partner to a sworn woman cop...

                          Yeah, that Clerk-Typist was a bit on the trashy side...maybe that's why they selected her for the assignment.

                          TMI Kieth!
                          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                            TMI Kieth!
                            All he said was "dated/slept" with the woman. The "dating" part could mean just about anything. As for "slept", if they were sleeping, then they couldn't have been doing anything nasty. ;-)
                            Getting shot hurts. Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you. My personal thoughts is to avoid being shot by any caliber.

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                            • #15
                              Oh, it was nasty alright.

                              Reminds me of a line from Animal House...

                              Katie: So how was it, last night?

                              Boone: (smiling and enthusiastic) A new low! I'm so ashamed.
                              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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