The Tempe Police Department has a new horse, and it wants the Internet to help name it.
The horse, a 3-year-old Tobiano paint, joined the force in January after a short career in therapeutic riding. He joins six other horses: Officers Titan, Moose, Rex, Rio, Stryer, and Thor.
If history is any indication, this has the potential to go hilariously awry.
Thanks to a similar public-relations stunt, Britain's National Environmental Research Council may be forced to christen its new $287 million polar research vessel Boaty McBoatface. In Slovakia in 2012, the public voted to rename a pedestrian bridge after actor Chuck Norris. In Austin, Texas, in 2011, people rallied to brand the city's waste-management service after Limp Bizkit's lead singer, Fred Durst.
Oftentimes, though, government agencies don't actually follow through in these situations once the people have their say. (Fortunately? Unfortunately? We can't decide.) Officials in Slovakia and Texas, for example, ultimately vetoed the public's suggestions.
In an attempt to get ahead of the situation, the Tempe Police Department suggested, in a Twitter post, that it will select three finalists from names suggested via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Only then will it put the matter to a public vote.
The brainstorming already is getting good, with some residents drawing inspiration from the Billboard Charts:
And others poking fun on the horse's new job:
@TempePolice How about Cuffs?? You mess with him you will see those!! : )— jeff langley (@jlang63) March 29, 2016
There is some general silliness:
And, of course, a number of shout outs to Boaty McBoatface:
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Submit your favorite names by April 13.
Winner gets to meet the horse.