Support your local police cat

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 13, 2018

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TROY — There may be a new cat in town.

The Troy Police Department will install a resident feline at police headquarters if they get 10,000 Twitter followers by April 1 — no fooling. 

Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said the kitty would not have any duties in law enforcement, but would be tasked merely with hanging around the Troy Police Department. 

“We have close to 9,000 followers on Twitter,” she said. “The idea, the main goal, is to humanize the badge. You don’t want a barrage of bad news. You have to be creative.” 

She noted that Troy administrators have been gracious about creative and unusual uses of social media. 

Troy police are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

For example, during a Feb. 20 police standoff with a barricaded gunman, Troy police posted updates on the situation on Twitter throughout the incident. At just before 5 p.m., police tweeted that the barricaded gunman situation had been resolved safely and that the suspect was in custody.

Troy police posted this on Facebook on Feb. 8, garnering over 1,000 shares: “Time to get ready for Snowmageddon. Recommended supplies include Netflix, a couch, snacks and a blanket. In other words, don’t drive in Snowmageddon conditions unless you must. If you must go out, please be prepared. Stay in, stay safe and stay cozy.” 

Police posted on Facebook a video filmed at Athens High School during Charity Week Feb. 14 in  which school resource officer John Julian stands by as Assistant Principal Daniel Mills is duct-taped to a wall. The video has 2,700 views. 

Lehman said that residents have told Troy police officers at various events how much they enjoy the social media posts. 

“It is our job to communicate with the community we serve,” Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer said in an email. “I am very proud that Sgt. Lehman is reaching out to our community in many ways. Her effort to reach residents with humor in social media has certainly had a positive impact. I have received many positive comments and have heard nothing negative.” 

However, Mayer is on the fence about the addition of a cat to the ranks of the Troy Police Department. 

“I am not sure about a police cat, though, because I am allergic to cats,” he said. 

Follow Troy police on Twitter @TroyMI_Police.