New Mexico Sheriff Announces 'Feline Division' as April Fools' Day Prank

The San Juan Sheriffs Office announced the addition of a new feline division to their department in New Mexico, in an April Fools’ Day video released on April 1.

Footage taken at their department in Aztec, New Mexico, shows an officer leading a cat, decked out in police gear, around the department, while a voiceover lists the merits of feline officers.

“The San Juan Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the implementation of their new feline program,” the voiceover says. “In an effort to cut down on spending, this new, cutting-edge program will use police cats to work alongside deputies.”

The voiceover notes the cat’s extra eight lives allow for bravery in particularly dangerous situations, despite the occasional cat nap on the job. Credit: San Juan Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico via Storyful

Video Transcript

- Meet the newest member of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, Kitty Purry. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is pleased to announce the implementation of their new feline program. In an effort to cut down on spending, this new cutting-edge program will use police cats to work alongside deputies.

Felines are known to have more acute sensors than canines, including an innate understanding of human behaviors. The use of cats in law enforcement has been around for centuries, starting with the ancient Egyptians. They're ideal for their agility, their ability to climb, and to be able to get into tight spaces.

While this practice fell out of favor in the United States in the early 1900s, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, being an innovative law enforcement agency , saw practicalities and the use for felines in everyday patrol functions. On Kitty Purry's first day on the streets, she helped apprehend a cat burglar. Her favorite assignment to date was assisting the SWAT team when she was able to ride in the Bearcat. The extra eight lives allow her to be fearless when placed in dangerous situations, even though she has been known to take the occasional catnap on the job. Although efforts to pair this new division with Farmington Police Department's K9 Division has proven unsuccessful, we are hopeful that the two assets will put aside their natural dislike for each other and work closely in the future.

SHANE FERRARI: There are so many homeless cats in San Juan County. Not only will the San Juan County Sheriff's Office have a more cost-effective working animal, but we will be doing our part to get them off the streets and find them gainful employment.

- We are currently hiring feline unit handlers and encourage those interested in law enforcement to apply online at www.sjcso.com, or call our recruitment office at 505-334-6107.

- [MUSICAL HORN] Womp, womp, womp, womp!