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Risky situation? Call the SWAT monkey
Thursday, April 21, 2005 Posted: 3:35 AM EDT (0735 GMT)

PHOENIX, Arizona (Reuters) -- "Send in the SWAT monkey" is not an order police commanders are accustomed to giving, but that could change if an Arizona police department follows through on a proposal to train a capuchin monkey for high-risk police operations.

A Special Weapons and Tactics veteran from Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, has researched the possibility of landing a $100,000 federal grant to fund a pilot program to train one monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," Sean Truelove told the East Valley Tribune, a local newspaper. "It could change the way we do business."

Major city police departments in the United States use paramilitary SWAT teams for hostage situations and in situations involving heavily armed criminals.