Arizona police welcome bearded dragon as newest cop on the beat

Chief Dale Nannenga swears in Iroh the bearded dragon. Credit: Avondale Police Department via Facebook
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (KTVK/CNN) What has four legs, a very cool tail, a good-looking beard and spectacular climbing skills?

It's the newest member of the Avondale Police Department – Officer Iroh.

If you're thinking there's a new K-9 on the force, you didn't look at the picture or read the headline.

Iroh is a bearded dragon who has been promoted from department mascot to full-fledged cop.

Chief Dale Nannenga swore him in Thursday. The "photos or it didn't happen" proof is on Avondale P.D.'s Facebook page. Iroh looks serious but proud, which is exactly how a newly minted officer should look.

Avondale P.D. first introduced Iroh to us in an announcement last April about the department's new drug-sniffing bearded dragon.

"Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K9s," explained the Facebook announcement. "Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting Officers in the City. Please help us welcome Iroh!"

Super cool, right?

One guess what day in April that happened.

Little did Nannenga and his team know what a true asset Iroh would become.

"Iroh has turned out to be a valuable member of the Avondale Police family," according to a Facebook post on Feb. 15. "His skill set is so extensive that we have cross trained him in many areas."

Irho was "running radar with Motors" that day, and he looked like he was rocking it.

A couple of days later he turned up in dispatch.

After that, he spent some time on paperwork with Assistant Chief Lynn Parkin.

"Iroh has a keen eye for typos," according to the Facebook post.

Iroh just might be the busiest reptile since the Geico Gecko, and he's good at his job, killing it no matter the assignment. Hence the promotion.

Bearded dragons are generally friendly and calm, attributes that will make Iroh a great cop.

Avondale P.D. has promised to keep us all up to date on Iroh's adventures. Just keep an eye on the hashtag #IrohAdventures.