TPD unveils plan to get police cat

TPD unveils plan to get police cat

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - "I thought, this is very strange why do they want a cat?" questioned Stephen Heaven, CEO of the Toledo Area Humane Society.

It wasn't that someone wanted to adopt a cat from the Toledo Area Humane Society. It was who: The Toledo Police Department.

It's weird, right? A cat at the police station, but this could be a reality much sooner than you may think.

"The challenge has been accepted," stated Chief George Kral of the Toledo Police Department on a video announcing the social media campaign to get a feline officer.

It all started on Twitter.

First, with the Troy Michigan Police Department and then an assistant chief with the Toledo Fire Department challenged Chief Kral to get a police cat.

"Hopefully if we can get 20,000 followers on Twitter and 3,500 on Instagram then we're going to adopt a cat," said Chief Kral.

People are loving the challenge.

"I think it's crazy, but amazing," exclaimed Katie Michalak, a cat lover. "I mean, everybody could use a cat."

Chief Kral admitted the social media buzz from a potential police cat caught him off guard. He said they will get a cat if citizens come through, but don't exactly know what that will look like yet.

While this campaign has boosted engagement for TPD it also has raised awareness for the Toledo Area Humane Society too. They are excited to be a part of something so unique.

"My first thought was this cat riding around in a patrol car you know possibly in the back," said Stephen Heaven, president and CEO of the Toledo Area Humane Society. "I think it's a great way to raise awareness about adoptions and it shows the kinder, gentler side of the police department."

While it's all fun and games, there is also a purpose to this social media campaign. To increase TPD's followers and spread their message.

They post a variety of information online from wanted suspects, to breaking news updates, and even department successes. If they get more followers to bring a cat to the department that means more people see what they are sharing.

"It's all about getting a lot of information out quickly to as many people as possible," explained Chief George Kral. "And yeah this is some fun, but it's going to be a good result in the end."

When asked if they could see see a use for cat in policing, community members had varied answers.

"Not that I can think of," said Nick Miller. "But I'm sure they know better than I do. I think it's funny, I'll follow it."

"They probably help you relax after a long day," said Hollie Michalak of Maumee.

"We've been secretly training cats for years and if I was to tell you about it now we would be putting too much information out," joked Chief George Kral. "So, we're just going to wait until we get the cat and then you'll see."

Chase, the cat who starred in the chief's video posted on social media, was quickly adopted, but maybe that's better for the Chief.

Despite Chase's "catitude," the department will need some training on handling cats before their campaign is over.

If you want to see a TPD cat you need to follow them on Twitter- @ToledoPolice and on Instagram- Toledo_Police.

The Toledo Area Humane Society says they are excited to see the results and which cat will find a forever home in TPD.

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