By Kathleen H . . . We’ve all heard the adage ‘work smarter, not harder’ but that phrase actually changes meaning depending on what your goal is!
There are two types of investigations run by ICAC and LE concerning sex crimes. One is reactive, the other is proactive.
To me, it makes sense to follow actual leads where you know a crime has been committed. In October of 2018 there where approximately 6500 untested rape kits in the state of Washington. These are men, women, and children who have been violated and are seeking justice. They believe and count on the LE to do their job. In fact, it is often illegal to investigate a crime that happened to you, and is looked upon as vigilante style justice.
But I can list dozens of proactive stings that have happened in WA state over the last 5 years, accounting for thousands of hours of work from hundreds of LE officers.
So why so many proactive stings and so few reactive investigations? Simple really. Money.
When a rape kit is processed, an investigation gets underway. This involves old style gumshoe work. It’s time consuming, tedious work requiring methodical focus to catch one perpetrator. If you’re lucky. The state spends a lot of money working each case. If they do find the person responsible, then there is a trial involved, with ‘he said, she said’ debate, shaky witnesses, failing memories… convictions are hard to get. Reactive investigations are hard work.
BUT…when LE uses a proactive sting, and lures citizens who are not looking to break the law – convictions are as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. A typical sting will net between one to two dozen arrests, sometimes more!
If that wasn’t reason enough for LE to work proactive, v. reactive, investigations…. each of the arrests receives direct funds from our very own Department of Justice!
Is the real injustice done here to the innocent man enticed into the trap? Who is no threat to our society yet will serve jail time, up to life, for something he never wanted or looked for? Or is the real injustice to the person who was violated but whose rape kit, investigation, trial, and retribution are never going to happen?
I think the real injustice is that the public are led to believe that LE will do their job to avenge the violated citizen and that they actually care about protecting the public from persons who would do harm.
In terms of harder v. smarter, reactive investigations would qualify as both harder and smarter in my opinion!
The truth concerning both reactive and proactive sex stings is that LE is out to make money while exerting the least amount of energy to actually do their jobs, keep us safe, and put the bad guys behind bars.
When did that become too much to ask?