by Ian D Scofield
We all know that police departments have K-9 officers, they play an important role in drug detection, manhunts, search and rescue, and explosive detection. But what if a police department hired a different kind of animal officer? No, we aren't talking about a horse.
The Troy Police Department (MI) recently brought a new member onto the force. A Pawfficer. This new title was created specifically for their new officer. A F-9? A feline officer.
Troy's new Pawfficer is named Pawfficer Badges. The cat was brought on board to help support Adopt A Shelter Pet Day (#AdoptAShelterPet). Troy PD told Twitter users that they would adopt a police cat if they could get 10,000 Twitter Followers. And because people love cats, that goal of 10,000 followers was achieved in only 8 days.
Troy PD is now at 12,000 followers and growing. Pawfficer Badges is scheduled to be sworn in on May 11th and judges have already been picked to perform the swearing in.
According to the Troy PD Twitter their police cat's duties will consist of:
While a good portion of adopting a cat may feel like a publicity stunt, this isn't the first time that police departments have brought cats onto the force. In fact, it used to be common that police stations would have cats that they would use to help keep mice away. They have offered other job duties too.
One British police cat, Tizer, showed the value of having F-9s at the station. Officers (and other staff members) found that their stress levels were far lower once Tizer joined the department. Animals have this effect on people. With the public's view on policing, having a cat around the station to reduce stress levels could be a big benefit for officers. A small step to improve the mental and physical health of officers.
Boston SWAT has a station cat to play the role of a therapy cat after difficult calls. The SWAT officers have also found it to be beneficial to their mental health.
Creating connections with the public is also a major role of a modern police cat. Much like walking a dog at the park can help break down barriers, a cat in the station can help officers connect with the public. Almost everyone loves a cat.
K-9s are often used because of their exception noses, and their feline partners have been used for the same purpose. A Russian police cat, Rusik, was used to smell caviar and sturgeon in smuggling operations. Rusik proved exceptional at the job. His work was so good that a Russian gang killed Rusik after the cat had broken up their smuggling operation.
Police cats have served around the world in various purposes for ages. Many countries still have police cats that can be found among their ranks. In fact, Troy Police Department is not the first US-based police department to have a cat as an officer.
What would you think if your department adopted a police cat? I personally don't see any reason why stations can't have cats, besides those who have cat allergies. They can only do minimal harm with the potential to at the least, help out with officer stress. Stay safe out there.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his or his .
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