[Video Link] Ted Balaker says:
A Sheriff's sergeant from Snohomish County, Washington was busted for allegedly demanding sex (even while in uniform) in exchange for tipping off bikini baristas--who were suspected of dabbling in prostitution--about undercover agents.
The operation spanned approximately nine months, involved three local law enforcement agencies plus the FBI (which supplemented the generous amount of surveillance footage provided by their local partners). It culminated in about a dozen prostitution-related arrests.
So even if the arrests included people who actually were engaged in prostitution, the massive sting operation probably didn't actually curtail prostitution. What's more likely is that it resulted in new job openings for the world's oldest profession. Expect more status quo police tactics, where prohibition corrupts cops, busts people engaged in consensual acts, and diverts resources.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Department created a deck of cold case playing cards to raise awareness about people who have been victims of violent crime. Imagine if all the resources focused on busting naughty baristas were focused instead on busting those who murdered the people whose faces adorn the playing cards.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects