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‘Tip-a-Cop’ in Lakewood raises funds for charity

LAKEWOOD — Many patrons of the Lakewood Red Robin restaurant were surprised to see their waiters wearing a slightly different uniform April 17, as members of the Marysville, Arlington and Lake Stevens police departments got a chance to walk in somebody else’s shoes, all on behalf of charity.

The annual “Tip-a-Cop” event raises funds for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits Special Olympics athletes statewide, and more than a dozen police officers and other volunteers from the three law enforcement agencies came ready to serve customers and show off some of their equipment. Marysville police brought an armored truck that their tactical team uses for its operations, while Lake Stevens police showed off their recently acquired patrol boat.

More importantly, this year’s Tip-a-Cop had raised close to $750 toward its goal of $4,000 two hours into its nine-hour running time, according to Patricia Duemmell, an evidence technician with the Marysville Police Department and the coordinator for this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Marysville Police Lt. Darin Rasmussen had supported previous Tip-a-Cops as a patron, but this was his first time working as a waiter for the event. It was also his first time waiting and busing tables since he worked “for a couple of restaurants that don’t exist anymore” 30 years ago.

“Our biggest challenge is to make sure we’re not interfering with what the actual waitstaff are doing,” Rasmussen laughed. “They’ve been awesome to work for and have really opened their doors to us, so we don’t want to make their jobs harder.”

Rasmussen pointed out that the Tip-a-Cop gives locals a chance to interact with police officers up close in a more positive light, which he sees as showcasing the law enforcement agencies who participate while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“If you ever start to think your life is too hard, spend some time with the Special Olympics athletes,” said Rasmussen, who takes part in each year’s torch run. “There’s no down side to this event. It’s just a great partnership.”

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