DURHAM, England, March 31 (UPI) -- A police station in England is considering using cats on the force after receiving a letter from a young girl.
Durham police chief Mike Barton responded to a letter sent by 5-year-old Eliza Adamson-Hopper, who asked why the police force used dogs and not cats. Chief Barton responded by saying he would pass the idea along and sent along a drawing of his own cat.
Inspector Richie Allen, who works with Durham's dog support unit, told The Guardian that the force would actually consider adding cats.
"I can confirm the force is looking into recruiting what we believe to be the first U.K. police cat," he said. "Their duties and responsibilities have not yet been agreed but if nothing else they will become the force mascot."
While Allen said they were unsure exactly what role cats could play on the force, he joked that at the very least they'd be expected to help with pest control.
"Of course, if it smells a rat we'll expect it to catch it," he said.
Adamson-Hopper's letter suggested that cats could use their natural hearing and hunting ability to help police officers.
"A police cat would be good as they have good ears and can listen out for danger," she wrote. "Cats are good at finding their way home and could show policemen the way. Cats are good at climbing trees and hunting and could rescue people that are stuck."
Her mother Cheryl Adamson told the BBC that the letter was a result of her daughter's overall inquisitive nature.
"Eliza has loads of questions for everyone and I don't always know the answers," she said. "We typed out a letter to the chief constable, she told us what to write, and we said she might not get a response because he is a busy man"
She added that her daughter was delighted to receive a response not only from chief Barton, but also inspector Allen who sent them a calendar and invited the young girl to the station.