‘Drug-Sniffing’ Bearded Dragon Lizard Joins Arizona Police Department

Iroh the beardie was tasked with helping to generate interest in the department's Facebook page.

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Iroh will help generate interest in the Avondale Police Department’s Facebook page. Via Avondale AZ Police Department/Facebook
John Virata

The Avondale Police Department in Avondale, Arizona, pulled an April Fool’s Day prank last year, claiming that it had tapped a bearded dragon lizard to assist officers in sniffing out drugs.

“Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K9s,” the department said in an April 1 post on Facebook last year. “Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting Officers in the City. Please help us welcome Iroh!”

Well, the lizard, named Iroh, has proven to be so popular that the department’s chief of police, Dale Nannenga, “officially” (*but not really) swore the crime fighting, cold-blooded, Australian transplant into the city’s police force on April 13, according to the department’s Facebook page.
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Posted by Avondale AZ Police Department on Thursday, April 13, 2017

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“Iroh has turned out to be a valuable member of the Avondale Police family,” the department wrote. “His skill set is so extensive that we have cross trained him in many areas. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at ‘A day in the life of Iroh.’ Today he is keeping our streets safe running radar with Motors. Iroh says, ‘Do a good deed, and don’t speed.’ Stay tuned for more of Iroh’s adventures…”
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Posted by Avondale AZ Police Department on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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The swearing in of Iroh was just a late April Fool’s Day prank in an attempt to generate interest in the department’s Facebook page, according to ABC 15 Arizona.

While Iroh is on the force in some capacity, he isn’t with drug detection, but rather he serves with the public information officer to help interact with the community.

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