Enterprising Dog Becomes the Ranking Police Officer in a Small New Mexican Town

A drug-sniffing dog named Nikka adorably became the Gary Cooper of a small town in New Mexico when Police Chief Ernest "Chris" Armijo recently decided to step down, leaving Nikka the only certified member of the Vaughn police force. Now, faced with the prospect of safeguarding the sleepy southwestern town — which Homeland Security officials say is in an isolated region popular with drug traffickers — Nikka has only her wet nose and a fairly effective belly-scratch misdirection strategy to help her keep law and order.

Vaughn isn't a particularly dangerous place — residents say that crime is nearly nonexistent, which has led town officials to consider the possibility of just not hiring another police chief. Armijo stepped down after local news outlet KOB 4 ran a story about his criminal background, which prevents him from carrying a gun. According to town records Nikka is now Vaughn's sole certified officer. The only other human officer is no longer certified after a pleading guilty to assault and battery last year (noncertified officers cannot make arrests or carry guns). Presumably, Vaughn would find a more suitable human to play the Turner to Nikka's Hooch, but wouldn't you much rather be pulled over by a dog riding a police motorcycle? And isn't that really the most effective way to get speeders to pay their tickets without any backsass?

Vaughn police chief resignation leaves only a drug-sniffing dog [AP via KOB 4]

Image via Sari ONeal/Shutterstock.