A prisoner's cell not fit for swine

The Jurors street police station. A plague spot. – Montreal Evening Post Jan 1879

One of our reporters on his rounds this morning dropped into Jurors street station, and was astonished at the aroma that greeted his olfactory nerves – it was something very disgusting. On enquiring the cause of the stench, the policemen seemed inclined to be reticent and unwilling to answer, but on being hard pressed one of them pointed to the prisoners’ cell. The reporter approached with becoming caution, but dare not enter, for he was held back, not by an invisible hand, but by a very palpable smell, or, to speak more correctly, three different kinds of smell. The space for the prisoners is necessarily limited, the whole station not being larger than a commodious pig-sty; it is even doubtful if an alderman having a proper respect for this class of stock would confine them in such a place.

The police of this station are remarkable for their pale faces and a hacking cough, caused by the foul air that accumulates during the night, especially when two or three burly drunken men are stretched on the floor, emitting foul whiskey breath, and consuming all the pure oxygen in the small room. This morning, while our reporter was present, a big fellow named Thomas Webster was brought in by a constable for being drunk and cutting “didos”* on Cote street, and he struggled so hard before they could put him in the blackhole that it was feared, or rather hoped, he would tear down the establishment.

Some time ago an appropriation of four thousand and some odd dollars was made by the Council for a new station on Jurors street, but the order granting it was rescinded, owing to the hard times. If the council agree with the burglars that policemen are disagreeable, nasty creatures, always in the way, and therefore desirable object to be made away with, why, by all means let them keep the present station; but if on the contrary, they imagine that sub-constable should get a “show,” the sooner they build a new one the better.

(Ed’s note: “cutting didos” means getting up to mischief or playing tricks.)