The second-highest ranking member of the Port Lavaca Police force is the Captain – a two-year-old white and orange cat.
Chief Colin Rangnow had the idea that his office should adopt a cat. He grew up around horses, and when his family would go to the feed store, “there was always a cat.”
“Remembering back as a child,” Rangnow says, “you had the cats going all and then you had some old-timers in there telling stories about this and that. And that whole bringing back as far as our small community – some of those I would like to bring into the actual department. For years and years and years – unfortunately – police departments, ours included, was that we basically became an us-them scenario. But to say that we were actually part of the community, really wasn’t – we would be lying to ourselves to say that we were.”
The department decided to adopt a cat from their local shelter, the Calhoun County Humane Society.
“You know when you see an animal that just kind of fits, and then there he is, you know? He had personality. He’s like, ‘Hey, look at me.’ The rest is history,” Rangnow says.
They named the cat Captain, and “the joke is that, he actually is next in line under my rank.”
The Captain also takes his job seriously. “He poses for pictures! Like he knows that, alright this is my job, and I’m here for the whole PR aspect.”
But he also took on an unexpected role within the department: to help the police officers keep their sanity in a difficult job. “I mean, the job is pretty stressful and he just has a calming effect on the office. He will jump between me and the back of my chair. He’ll actually knead my shoulders and kinda set his chin on my shoulder. Which is – you’d have to see it to believe it almost,” Rangnow says.