Santisuk, fresh to the beat in Saiburi in Thailand‘s Yala province, has an unusual name – it means ‘Peace’ in Thai – but it’s his fur and tail that gets most attention.
The pig-tailed macaque was given a uniform by a police corporal who adopted the monkey after he found it suffering from a broken leg.
Corporal Yutthapol Phromdao’s pet now joins him on patrol, helping to defuse the irritation of motorists pulled over for checks in the restive southern province.
Some will inevitably argue that the new recruit could bring valuable skills to a police force with a bumbling reputation.
But a real boost to the effectiveness of Thailand’s police is not due until 2012 – when Thailand’s first female police officers will hit the streets.
The first batch of women cops is already studying at Thailand’s Royal Police Academy, although the first intake will add only 70 female coppers to a force of 250,000 men.