April Fool's Joke turns bearded dragon into Avondale PD mascot

- He's not your typical pet or mascot.

"He's kind of transformed into our mascot now for our department," said Ray Emmett of Avondale Police Department.

But a lot of people are following Iroh's adventures on social media.

"After we put the initial post out there, we got a lot of requests. People wanted to see more of Iroh," said Emmett.

The first post came out on April Fool's Day last year, when the Avondale Police Department's social media committee posted a photo of the bearded dragon on Facebook, saying he was a "drug-sniffing lizard."

The joke was a big hit, so the police dispatcher, Veronica Rojas, allowed the committee to use her bearded dragon for more posts.

"I figured a few people would like it and got excited when it reached 100 and never really thought it would make it like this," said Rojas. "He's really good with looking at the camera and getting excited for his photos."

Since that first post, Iroh has been all over the department.

He's helped motorcycle cops catch speeding cars with a radar gun, worked with dispatchers, and helped proofread paperwork for other officers. He also received a special honor.

"He just got certified, just got sworn in last week as an officer," said Emmett.

That's right. The chief swore him in as an officer, badge and all.

And even though he's not really able to sniff out drugs, or do real police work, he's still a big part of the Avondale PD and the community.

"It's kind of a great way to when we do put him on social media, we can show different areas of the department people don't think about all the time," said Emmett.


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