Culture

Cops swear in 'drug sniffing' bearded dragon

That's Officer Iroh to you. A bearded dragon goes from April Fools' prank to sworn-in reptile cop.

Congratulations, Officer Iroh.

Avondale Police Department

The Avondale, Arizona, police department celebrated April Fools' Day in 2016 by pranking the community with a Facebook post about hiring a "drug-sniffing bearded dragon." Over a year later, the fun continues as Iroh the bearded dragon is now a sworn-in officer.

The Avondale Police Department posted a Facebook update last week showing police chief Dale Nannenga swearing Iroh in and presenting the photogenic lizard with an official badge and certificate.

Iroh has periodically popped up on the cops' Facebook page during the last year, posing with everything from a police motorcycle to an officer doing paperwork. He's even been known to lend a claw with dispatch.

The original joke included this line: "Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell, making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K9s."

Iroh isn't actually in service as a drug-sniffing animal, but he is doing an excellent job of entertaining Avondale's human officers while acting as a social media ambassador.