A rookie Prince George's County police officer, still in uniform, was arrested late Saturday after he allegedly solicited a prostitute, who was actually an undercover county detective and part of a sting operation, authorities said yesterday.
Pfc. Jeffery A. Gibson, 34, was off duty when, authorities said, he approached the detective late Saturday night near a Motel 6 in Camp Springs. He was charged the next day with soliciting a prostitute, a misdemeanor, and was suspended with pay pending an internal and criminal investigation, said Barbara Hamm, a police spokeswoman.
Hamm said Gibson, a patrol officer assigned to the Bowie police district, is a recent graduate of the county's police academy. Because of his status as a probationary officer, she said, he could be fired. No other information about the alleged incident was made public yesterday.
But police sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing internal investigation, said Gibson had worked an overtime shift in the Bowie area and was released early by his lieutenant. They said he drove his personal vehicle to the motel area, solicited the undercover officer, and after hearing her price of $60, allegedly asked, "What is that, the police discount?"
There was apparently some confusion at the scene, but Gibson was eventually arrested and charged hours later with the crime. He was not in custody yesterday.
Gibson declined to comment through a police union leader. But the union leader, President Percy Alston, said Gibson deserves "due process and his day in court."
"We'll let the facts play out," said Alston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 89.
According to court documents, a trial is scheduled for Sept. 20.
Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.