Viewpoint: Woodbury police handled sting at massage parlor appropriatelyI was quite surprised by the Nov. 18 "Reader Viewpoint" column by John Wood ("Woodbury police undercover investigation was over the top").
By: Mike Conway, Woodbury Bulletin
I was out of town for a few days and so I was a bit behind in reading the Nov. 18 edition of the Bulletin. In catching up I was quite surprised by the "Reader Viewpoint" column by John Wood ("Woodbury police undercover investigation was over the top").
Mr. Wood appears to find a lot of fault in the Woodbury Public Safety Department's handling of some arrests recently made at a Woodbury massage parlor.
One of the first things in Wood's viewpoint that struck me was that it was sprinkled with several evocative words including “ardor”, “titillating”, and “dalliance.” These struck me as odd choices of words until I came to where he likened the Woodbury Public Safety Department to a group of "overeager adolescent boys at a school dance" - then Wood's choice of words made more sense.
Mr. Wood also found fault with some specific procedures employed by the public safety department. Specifically, Wood is apparently unhappy that undercover officers engaged in sexual contact for money and that some of that money consisted of, presumably, our tax dollars. Wood feels the department’s reputation could be tarnished by having engaged in the contact.
I do not envy any of the undercover officers that were called upon for that assignment. I doubt that any of the officers found the assignment to be a titillating dalliance that they approached with ardor. I also do not feel any reputations have been tarnished.
As far as the currency used being tax dollars - I presume that it was department money, documented in advance for evidence purposes and recovered in full.
In his viewpoint Wood asks if the contact between the officers in the process was illegal - and was it necessary? I presume the Woodbury police and city attorneys know what is allowed and what isn't allowed and therefore I presume that it was legal. Was it necessary? I also presume that the county attorney finds that his conviction rate is higher when there are solid witnesses and evidence as opposed to simply asking defendants if they are guilty as charged.
In his viewpoint Wood treats this entire affair as unworthy of the time and effort of the Woodbury Public Safety’s attention. He also states "no one in Woodbury wants massage parlors springing up all over town.” To me those two thoughts seem to be a bit contradictory.
I believe that we have a good police department and a city attorney that provides the department good counsel. I also believe that overall our local police are working on what they should be working on.
I accept that people can differ as to where the public safety department concentrates its efforts at any given point. I happen to agree with the department’s actions in this case.
Mr. Wood issues the mandatory "I have great respect for Woodbury's Police Department," but he then likens them to adolescents at a school dance. That tone seem to permeate his entire viewpoint and I don't think that tone adds to the discussion.
Mike Conway is a Woodbury resident.