Why don't police departments employ police cats, as well as dogs?
That's the question one curious 5-year-old girl from the U.K. named Eliza Adamson-Hopper recently asked her local police force — and they gave her an answer.
Should the Durham Constabulary, located in County Durham, take up Eliza's suggestion, they would be the first county in the U.K. to introduce cats to the crime-fighting scene.
Eliza, who has a cat named Mittens and a dog named Susie, noticed the fact that police forces frequently have K-9 units but don't have feline units, and she wanted to find out why. So she wrote a letter to Chief Constable Mike Barton.
"I was talking to my dad about police dogs and I asked him if you had police cats as well — he told me that he didn't think there were any police cats but I said that I think they would be good," she wrote.
Eliza said cats would help the police because "they have good ears and can listen out for danger" and that they are "good at finding their way home and could show policemen the way." She also said they are good at climbing trees, so "they could rescue people that were stuck."
"My dog is friends with my cat and I think a police cat would be friends with your police dogs. Please will you think about getting police cats?" Eliza concluded.
Not really expecting a reply, Eliza's mother, Cheryl Adamson, said she admitted to her daughter, who asks a lot of questions, that she doesn't always have the answers and suggested writing to the local police.
As it turns out, the constable thought it was a great idea.
"Thank you for your letter suggesting the police should use cats as well as police dogs," Barton said in a handwritten response. "I am going to ask my inspector who is in charge of police dogs to think about your good idea."
He continued, "I've always liked cats and I've drawn my cat Joey on the back of the letter. (I'm not a very good drawer though!)"
Soon after, Inspector Richie Allen contacted Eliza to inform her that the police department is, in fact, considering using police cats in the future for a yet-to-be-determined role, even if it is only to catch rodents.
"[I] can confirm the force is looking into recruiting what we believe to be the first U.K. police cat," Allen said. "Their duties and responsibilities have not yet been agreed but if nothing else they will become the force mascot. Of course, if it smells a rat, we'll expect it to catch it."
In addition, the inspector sent Eliza a police calendar and invited her to an open day at the department.
According to the Guardian, the Eliza was so inspired by the constable's response that she decided she would start raising money for a local retired dog charity, Paws Up.
A spokeswoman from the Durham Constabulary was sure to confirm that this story was not an April Fools joke but is a true story.
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