You’re already used to drug-sniffing dogs, but the latest in animal drug enforcement just got a lot smaller. A police department in Arizona just swore in the very first drug-sniffing lizard.
Iroh, a bearded dragon, was sworn in by Chief Dale Nannenga of the Avondale Police Department on Thursday, April 13th. The department posted a Facebook status celebrating this new addition, saying:
“Iroh got sworn in today by Chief Nannenga, Iroh is official!”
A lizard may seem like an odd choice, but the department is confident in Iroh’s abilities. Iroh was sworn in after the department reviewed much research that stated that reptiles have the ability to pick up on certain narcotics that dogs can’t detect.
The department commented on this new addition last year before Iroh was official, stating:
“Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K9s…Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting Officers in the City. Please help us welcome Iroh!”
If you’re thinking that being busted by a bearded dragon won’t be nearly as cute as being busted by a dog, think again. Bearded dragons are known for their friendliness, desire to hang out with their human friends, and the fact that they have developed their very own friendly wave to say hello. They are very mild mannered, and if they feel threatened, instead of attacking like some reptiles might, they instead freeze or expand the ‘bearded’ area of their throat to make themselves look scarier. All these factors combined make a bearded dragon a perfect fit for patrolling the community.
The department will capture moments of Iroh’s career from time to time, so follow the bearded dragon’s escapades with the hashtag #IrohsAdventures!