DOWNEY – Downey Police Officers tied aprons around their waists and served residents in a whole new way as a part of the Tip a Cop fundraising event Wednesday evening.
The event was held at Lazy Dog within the Promenade.
A handful of DPD’s officers took to the restaurant floor assisting servers with drink orders and other minor server duties, all while talking to customers about supporting the Special Olympics.
“For me personally, and I think for most officers, it’s just about giving back to the community,” said Officer Ralph Diaz, President of the Downey Police Officers Association. “We always come out to these events whenever possible, just to show our face, like ‘hey we’re apart of you guys too.’ We may be police officers, but we’re a part of you guys, we’re here to serve you guys in whatever capacity we can. It’s very meaningful for us to come out here and serve people for a good cause.”
According to restaurant General Manager Patrick Weyland, this is not the first time Lazy Dog has hosted events in conjunction with one of Downey’s organizations.
“We have done a few events with the city already; some Chamber of Commerce events, we did the Gangs out of Downey golf tournament for the Ricky Galvez memorial…,” said Weyland. “We’re just trying to get out there in the community and do everything we can to be a part of it and help out as much as we can.”
The fundraiser was held in support of the Special Olympics.
According to Special Olympics athlete and coach Dustin Plunkett, fundraisers such as this one have more of an effect on the participants, athletes, and community than just raising funds.
“The community gets more knowledgeable about The Special Olympics, and these officers get to learn more about the community that they’re serving in on a daily basis,” said Plunkett. “And for the athletes, we just get to be there and meet more kinds of people and they get to hear our story, and our story gets out there to many more people.”