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Colorado Springs cops spend $700 in strip club sting

Colorado Springs law enforcement officials have found themselves on the defensive after it was discovered that seven detectives assigned to go undercover at a local strip club as part of a liquor compliance audit and prostitution sting spent $700 at the facility.

It was reported that the sting took place on March 5 at PT's Showclub and that the officers cited the club for liquor violations, but after the detectives attempted to solicit sex on the premises, there were no prostitution charges made because the offers were not obliged.

It was reported that the PT's Showclub surrendered its liquor license on April 28. Because it no longer serves alcohol, PT's dancers are fully nude, as Colorado law requires that strip clubs with fully nude dancers are alcohol-free.

But members of the public are criticizing Colorado Springs authorities in letters to the Colorado Springs Gazette and on local website comment boards, saying that seven detectives and $700 worth of expenditures were excessive for this investigation.

However, the Colorado Springs police lieutenant, who is in charge of the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Unit, defended the audit, saying that $700 seemed like a practical amount of money for seven detectives who were trying to "fit in" to spend.

"You still have to blend in," he told The Gazette. "You can't just nurse one drink."

According to the lieutenant, the money used in the sting did not come from taxpayers, but from money that had been apprehended in other undercover investigations, The Gazette reported.

He said that the probe was planned in response to complaints from residents and sheriff's deputies who said that prostitution was occurring at PT's. Apparently, the seven detectives chosen for the sting were made up of members of the Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Source: The Denver Channel, "Police Defend 7 Cops, Spending $700 In Strip Club Probe," 5/15/2011.

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