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Monday, April 18, 2005

Monkeys in Law Enforcement 

Given the growing body of evidence supporting the notion that our simian cousins are plotting to usurp our position atop the primate hierarchy, is this really such a good idea? From the AP:
MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Police Department is looking to add some primal instinct to its SWAT team. And to do that, it's looking to a monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," said Mesa Officer Sean Truelove, who builds and operates tactical robots for the suburban Phoenix SWAT team. "It would change the way we do business."

Truelove is spearheading the department's request to purchase and train a capuchin monkey, considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee. The department is seeking about $100,000 in federal grant money to put the idea to use in Mesa SWAT operations.

The monkey, which costs $15,000, is what Truelove envisions as the ultimate SWAT reconnaissance tool.
I'm concerned about the trans-species technology transfer, to be honest. But even such a confirmed monkey-phobe as I must blanch at this alternative employment of our tree-dwelling relatives:
RABAT, D.C., Morocco, March 24 (UPI) -- A Moroccan publication accused the government Monday of providing unusual assistance to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq by offering them 2,000 monkeys trained in detonating land mines.

The weekly al-Usbu' al-Siyassi reported that Morocco offered the U.S. forces a large number of monkeys, some from Morocco's Atlas Mountains and others imported, to use them for detonating land mines planted by the Iraqis.

The publication quoted a highly-informed source as saying, "that is not a scientific illusion but a well-known military tactic."

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