Edmonton police officers regularly rounded up women from bars at closing time and took them to a constables' lounge at police headquarters for "talent nights," a disciplinary hearing has been told.
The allegations were made in May at the disciplinary hearing of Const. Sebastien Berube. CBC News has obtained transcripts of the hearings, which concluded this week. A ruling is expected by the fall.
Berube faces five disciplinary charges related to a night in the constables' lounge in 2005. Now on paid leave, he is alleged to have invited three waitresses from a strip club to join him.
The charges include one count of insubordination and four counts of deceit.
The complaint was laid by Sgt. Doug Goss, who was in the lounge that night.
At the hearing, Berube testified he invited a woman he'd met at a West End strip club to the lounge. She brought two friends with her.
Berube testified he took his guest to a room off the lounge. The other two women were left in the lounge.
Treated unfairly, constable believes
This concerned Goss, who was under the impression the women were strippers and could have links to motorcycle gangs.
The allegations of officers taking part in what some called "talent nights" arose from testimony by Berube. He said he revealed the practice because he felt he was being treated unfairly when worse things were happening in the lounge.
Berube told the hearing that police squads regularly competed to collect as many women as possible.
"They just drive around when the bars finish and people, you know, they are all waiting outside for cabs. It's pretty easy to pick up a girl that's freezing at -40 out and offering her a ride to somewhere she can have a drink after the bar closes," Berube testified.
Three other officers confirmed the existence of this practice in testimony at the hearing.
Sgt. Tony Simioni told the hearing that members in his command showed him pictures of what happened on these nights. However, Simioni doesn't believe officers engaged in an actual competition.
'Who knows what goes on?'
"The scenario that you just described I think is a little bit out there," he told CBC News on Thursday.
"I think it's a little bit over the top. I don't have absolute deniability that this occurs, because who knows what goes on when I'm not there?
"I've heard of the prospect of talent night and it's nowhere near what your definition seems to be."
Simioni rejected Berube's allegations that prostitutes were guests in the lounge. He said other officers had told him that strippers had been brought in, but he never saw any.
The constables' lounge is licensed and has vending machines that dispense beer and liquor. It operates after bars have closed to give police officers a place to socialize after they have finished a late shift.
Edmonton police Chief Mike Boyd will not comment on the allegations until a ruling is made.