Toronto
2 min

The cop speaks

Five male cops went into the women’s bathhouse because there are no female plainclothes police officers.



“Logistically, we don’t have the policewomen to do plainclothes work,” said 52 Division head Aidan Maher at the Sep 28 meeting of the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Police Advisory Committee. “Plainclothes work is not attractive to policewomen. They don’t like it. And we can’t get them going into that. It’s a logistics thing.”



And that’s why five plainclothes male officers were sent into the Pussy Palace during what was called a routine check of a one-night-only liquor licence. Police were in there for more than an hour.



Maher said that of those women on the force, many lack the expertise needed to conduct plainclothes investigations.



However, Maher did go through the chronology, finally admitting that two undercover female police officers went in before the plainclothes male cops did.



Maher said that: Under the command of plainclothes Det Dave Wilson, two women were sent in to investigate for drugs, violence or sex problems (based on a past complaint). They went outside to report back. That’s when Wilson sent his squad into Club Toronto. That’s when he sent in his five male officers.



“Two females go in and they come out and tell the male officers: ‘No drugs, no violence, but boy is there sex!’ Right?” asked Councillor Kyle Rae.



What followed was a head to head debate.



“What it seems like is taking a sledgehammer to a flea. To take that amount of force,” said committee co-chair Bob Fisher Fisher. “For

whatever reason, they went in. It had to be decided in advance.”



And if the raid was drug related, why wasn’t that squad called in?



Because the drug squad wouldn’t have the same expertise as the undercover officers, responded Maher. He also denied that his own officers generated the initial complaint.



“How do you know that?” asked Rae.



“Are you saying that we trumped up?” asked Maher.



Said Rae: “It could be. That’s what people in the community are feeling.”



Maher also said that what some consider an excessive amount of time – more than an hour spent wandering about the Pussy Palace (held at the Club Toronto bathhouse) was justified. Maher said that

when the officers asked to speak with the woman who signed the liquor licence permit, she was nowhere to be found.



“Nobody came forward,” said Maher. (Bathhouse spokesperson Janet Rowe, when later asked about this, replies: “That’s not true.”)



Only 15 people attended the meeting, which coincided with the women-only Take Back The Night March (hundreds of women attended, and heard speakers from the bathhouse organizing committee denounce police).



“Right now, we’re up against a major event. People are not here that need to her about this,” said Fisher.



“If nothing else, what happened at the bath did something that no one else has been able to accomplish. It actually united the community and it united it in such a way that sometimes out of anger comes something very good. But let me tell you that you have a very, very angry community,” said Fisher.



Also discussed, was increased lighting on Mutual and Maitland (and other hotspots around the community) to prevent drug deals.



Finally, there was bit of gossip about rapper Dark Man X, better known as DMX, recently asked by police to shape up or ship out. In town for a respite, he was spotted harassing raccoons and hassling his neighbours, claimed long-time resident and disgruntled DMX neighbor Tim Gendron, the police advisory committee’s other co-chair.