Whether he is bawling out criminals for their misdeeds or comforting
a lost child, this member of the Lindenhurst Police Department is renowned
in the community for being reliable, resourceful and rotund.
While Mister Meanor may be the only non-human member of the police force,
he doesn't seem to know it.
Officer Ralph Goar brought the stray cat into the department over Memorial
Day weekend in 2001.
Mister Meanor quickly endeared himself to members of the force of fewer
than 20 police officers.
"We brought him to the chief and said, 'Here's our new mascot,' " Officer
Rebecca Labb said. "The chief just said OK."
Chief Jack McKeever said he had already been considering getting a dog
for the department when he was approached about keeping Mister Meanor.
"He adds an atmosphere of family living and working together," McKeever
said. "He softens the sometimes harsh realities of law enforcement in our
Meanor, as he is called for short, has a police ID badge and takes his
role as crime prevention cat quite seriously.
"If a bad guy has bonded out he yells at them the whole way down the hallway,
giving them the 'what for' with a scolding meow," Labb said. "However,
if people here need comforting, he jumps up in their lap and comforts them.
"He distinguishes between the good guys and the bad guys. It is amazing
how he does that."
Because he thinks he is human, Meanor prefers to drink out of the drinking
fountain and shares a bathroom with the chief.
"I was using the drinking fountain one day and he hopped up there and started
drinking," Labb said.
" Now, much to the chagrin of some people
around here, when he is thirsty he cries
until someone lets him up there and waters
It may be that he is trying to live up to his name, but Mister Meanor
does have a mischievous side, Labb said.
There was the time that Meanor got accidentally locked in the chief's
office overnight and had an accident.
"That is when we first said that Mister Meanor committed a felony," she
Another time, someone came in to pay a fine and left his wallet on the
counter near the pass-through opening of the window.
"Meanor pulled the wallet through the pass-through and proceeded to take
money out of the wallet," Labb said. "The person who was here to pay
a fine was not happy to pay it, but that immediately broke the ice and he started
While none of the officers are allergic to Meanor, not everyone is as
happy as the chief and Labb are that he is there.
"Not all of the officers agree to this day that I let him stay and I understand
and respect that," McKeever said. "He doesn't fit the movie/TV image
of what police are all about. Perhaps he overly humanizes things."
But for Labb and most of her colleagues, what Meanor brings to the department
is much more valuable than a tough guy image.
"He senses when you are stressed and he'll come up and ask you for a pet," Labb
said. "This can be a very stressful job, and he offers a great deal of stress