At first glance, PFC Camille Neville looks like a good, upstanding person. During a prostitution sting, however, she was convincing enough as a prostitute to lure 25 potential customers.
The operation took only five hours in a hotel room, this past summer. Another female patrol officer brought in several more arrests from another area. Neville is able to talk about her experiences now that all of the trials are over.
“It’s not something I want to do, but I have a good working relationship with the unit who runs the stings and they asked me if I would do it,” Neville said.
Neville said that she didn’t even have to look the part, “You just have to be in the right spot at the right time. The men drive by several times.”
In order to have a successful arrest all the elements of the crime must be met.
“You start a conversation; then they make a proposition. You ask what they want and then money comes into play,” Neville said.
Once that is done, Neville let the arrest team comes in. She said that’s the hardest part, not going after the guy, especially if he runs.
“It’s hard to do that. I’m a cop and instructed to go after the bad guy,” she said.
Neville has to write everything down, no matter how graphic the details. She would testify in court when necessary. She said some plead guilty and some make deals; others plead not guilty.
Everyone arrested is charged with solicitation of prostitution, but even if the prosecutor reduces the charge, they still must submit to an HIV test.
“That’s our main concern, the safety aspect,” Neville said. “Most of these men are married—several of them white-collar businessmen on their lunch hour—and they are bringing it home to their wives.”
CAPT. MIKE KLINE, commander of the Mount Vernon District Station said, it’s unfair that Route 1 has a reputation for prostitution.
"Until we get rid of them, they will keep doing it again and again,” Kline said.
Neville said that she was surprised how casual some of the men behaved, for them it was a business deal and they were there to get one thing. She was also surprised at how little they paid. Some new prostitutes have come from Las Vegas and are charging much more—and getting it.
“It’s sad that girls put themselves through this,” Neville said.
She said there have been reverse stings to pick up prostitutes, but it’s hard to catch them. Residents call to report them, but by the time police arrive they are gone.
The oldest customer was 65, most of the other men were in their twenties, she said. Once, two men approached Neville at the same time.