SANTA FE (KRQE) - People who think they're being clever sometimes oink at police officers or even more bluntly just call them pigs.
So you'd think that a pig is the last thing cops would want as their symbol.
But New Mexico State Police have taken the sting out of that insult by embracing it:
This isn't just any pig, though. This is Arnold, who watches over the state Law Enforcement Academy at Department of Public Safety headquarters in Santa Fe.
That's right -- where cops from all over the state spend time training and getting certified before they hit the streets.
Ok--let's address the, umm, pig in the room.
It's a common practice for pigs and cops to be linked. Usually police are not big fans of that connection.
"Pig was not a complimentary term for police officers, but they turned it around for themselves and now pig stand for Pride, Integrity and Guts," DPS spokesman Tony Lynn said. "And they love it. They absolutely love it."
This little guy stands for a lot and has put up with a lot over the years. He was originally made for target practice at the request of a state cop in Gallup.
He still bears the scars from there.
"He found his way to Santa Fe, and they put him outside of the office of one of the New Mexico State Police chiefs, Chief Taylor," Lynn said.
A few years later, when the state were sprucing up police headquarters, they let employees decide what art should be placed outside to represent the building and DPS.
"The pig, which wasn't even one of the art works up for vote, won," Lynn said. "They mounted him permanently outside the Law Enforcement Academy, and that's where he sits."
Everyone has embraced the little guy even putting a wig on him and saying he was undercover or dressing him up to look like a lieutenant or offering to get him a donut as they walk by..
No one knows exactly how long Arnold the pig has been hanging around headquarters, but officials say they plan to keep him there for good.
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