Mesa, Arizona may soon have the world's best groomed crooks

The Mesa, Ariz., Police Department is making plans to “monkey” around with their criminals.

According to an online story on My Way News the Mesa SWAT team has applied for a Federal Grant to purchase and train a capuchin monkey as a crime-fighting tool.

They are considered to be the second most intelligent primate, lagging behind only the chimpanzee.

Capuchins are most familiar to the uninformed as an organ grinder's monkey.

The most common present day human application for capuchins are as companions to the handicapped. They can open and close doors, serve food, turn off lights and even be taught to brush your hair, (I have no idea if their primal grooming habits continue and they check you for fleas and ticks).

In any case, Sean Truelove, of the Phoenix P.D. has applied for federal money, (Who else, the Department of Defense), to purchase (a mere $15,000) and train, (who knows what that will cost) one of the little monkeys.

They range from 12 to 22 inches tall. Double that for the standard prehensile tail and they tip the scales at three to eight pounds.

Capuchians love to solve puzzles, so Truelove thinks they'll be natural crime fighters after, they've been equipped with a Kevlar vest, a video camera and a two-way radio. Now all the Phoenix P.D. needs is someone fluent in Capuchin. According to one capuchin web site, there are 14 different capuchin vocalizations including an “arrawh” used when they try to find their way home when separated from their group; at the other end of the vocal spectrum is a purr used as a friendly appeasement call.

I can hear it all now, “This is One -Adam 12, come in Patrolman Cheetah, do you copy? Have you seen the perp yet? Do you need backup? We'll send in the attack Chihuahua.”

There is one problem; according my research, capuchians can't recognize themselves in a mirror. So, if during one of their police forays into a potential crime scene should they wind up in front of a three-sided mirror in ladies wear, will they think they are surrounded by bad guys on three sides?

Will they ask for covering fire?

Also, if and when, they get the bad guy, will they cuff him and check him for lice, comb his hair and have him ready for the obligatory mug shot and lineup?

Or, will they break into a frenetic dance and make a quick circuit of the room with a tin cup in an effort to raise money for the Police Athletic League?

Will the capuchins have to fill out the forms explaining how and where they found the perp?

Will they have to carry a Miranda card to make sure they don't violate the poor criminals' rights?

What happens if the crook has a monkey phobia?

Also, when the captured criminal gets to prison will he be mercilessly teased because he was caught by an eight-pound “monkey” with a bilogical name he can't pronounce?

Who's going to pay for the years of psycho therapy?

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