Profile of a John
The businessmen behind the world's oldest profession.
Original Article Posted Nov. 8, 2010
ANCHORAGE-It's been called the oldest profession, but Anchorage police say it's not just the prostitutes who are the problem but the "johns" who keep them in business. Police say the johns can be your neighbors, friends, husbands, boyfriends and those whose job is to uphold the law.
For years now, Anchorage police have been conducting "reverse" stings-"meaning, we have a female out there posing as a prostitute," said Anchorage police Sgt. Kathy Lacey, which runs the department's vice unit, which ran about six reverse stings this year.
Each sting, which is at least six hours long, ends with several arrests.
"On an average, our high is 10, and we probably average six to seven," Lacey said. "It just depends how many hours we put into it."
Lacey's unit worked with the FBI on a sting earlier in July.
"I think we arrested seven that night," Lacey said.
Among those arrested that night was Daniel Shrader, a lieutenant with the Ted Stevens International Airport Police and Fire Department.
Anchorage police say Shrader was arrested in Spenard on July 9 at about 8 p.m. after offering an undercover detective 40 dollars for oral sex.
"When we made the arrest, somebody recognized him as being law enforcement, but that doesn't change how we process him," Lacey said.
Shrader's vehicle was towed, as city ordinance mandates when it comes to prostitution arrests.
"We don't want to give him any breaks, and we didn't want to treat him any harder than we would anybody else," Lacey said. "Once we arrest him, that goes to the prosecutor's office and we have no say as to how it's prosecuted at that point."
According to the municipality, 13 charges qualify the suspects for pretrial diversions-which are basically second chances for first-time offenders.
"Every one of them that was arrested that had no prior record would have gotten offered this pretrial diversion," said Patterson, who insisted Shrader was not offered because he carried a badge. "What bothers me is we're here because he is a cop. If he wasn't a cop, we wouldn't be sitting here, having this conversation. We are, because people think he gets special treatment and that's not the case at all. We get people coming through here who are judges, all kinds of things. This guy, if it had been a plumber, an electrician, a TV cameraman, wouldn't have made any difference."
Sgt. Lacey said she and her detectives run across the same during their stings.
"We get every social strata that pick up prostitutes on the street," Lacey said. "You name it, we've had it. We've had attorneys, we've had police officers-obviously with the airport police officer, doctors, business people, business owners, construction workers, students."
The suspects, she said, are mostly men; most of them with a lot to lose.