Iroh the lizard was sworn in by the department's chief and even received his own badge on April 13, just over a year after he "started his service."
The reptile's first appearance looked like an April Fool's Day joke: on April 1, 2016, Avondale police announced that Iroh had joined them in a pilot program. "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," the department said.
However, the police department admitted that "the drug sniffing bearded dragon" turned out to be a valuable member of their team. Since then, Iroh has been seen patrolling the streets of Avondale, helping out in dispatch and even doing some paper work.
Unfortunately, the story about a cop lizard is too good to be true. The swearing in was part of a late April Fool's Day prank, too, aimed at bringing attention to the department's Facebook page, Avondale police told ABC15 Arizona.