Issaquah police protect and serve — Red Robin burgers

October 16, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah Deputy Police Chief Steve Cozart serves diners during the Tip-a-Cop fundraiser Oct. 14 at Red Robin.By Jacqueline Kerness/Issaquah Police Department

Issaquah police officers donned aprons to protect and serve — meals, that is — for the annual Tip-a-Cop fundraiser.

Officers served burgers, fries and more to diners Oct. 13 at Red Robin. Tips collected by the Issaquah Police Department benefit Special Olympics Washington.

Issaquah and Snoqualmie officers at the local Red Robin raised about $6,000.

During the event, police officers — alongside Special Olympics athletes and restaurant employees — served patrons and collected donations. Special Olympics Washington provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The fundraiser encompassed local police departments throughout Washington. Snoqualmie officers joined Issaquah officers at Red Robin for the event.

The task is more difficult to some officers than routine traffic stops and crime-fighting tasks.

“I am not a good server,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers joked. “It is a very hard job, and each time I do it, I have more respect for the people who do it on a regular basis.”

The gig doubles as a community outreach effort for the police.

“We get the opportunity to meet the public outside of an enforcement issue or when we’re responding to a call and they, in turn, get the opportunity to meet the officers that work in their community,” Ayers said.

Officers conducted a raffle for prizes during the event and, to kick off the fundraiser, motorcycle officers and other motorcyclists — led by officers Andrew Rorbach and John Lindner — rode to Red Robin from the Issaquah Microsoft campus.

Special Olympics Washington set a statewide goal of $150,000 for the fundraiser. The fundraiser includes Red Robin locations in other states, too.

“After raising nearly $750,000 last year, we are proud to again partner with local law enforcement officials and Coca-Cola to support Special Olympics in the communities we serve,” Eric Houseman, Red Robin president and chief operating officer and Special Olympics Colorado board member, said in a statement.

In the 2011 Tip-a-Cop fundraiser, Issaquah and Snoqualmie officers raised more than $7,000 from Red Robin diners.

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