Carroll County law enforcement takes part in Cop on Rooftop in Westminster on Saturday August 27, 2016.
The heads of the Westminster Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack and Carroll County State's Attorney's Office all got together early Saturday morning at a Dunkin' Donuts — and then they climbed on the roof.
The four set up chairs, and placed their sleeping bags and a cot around the side of the roof, and then they simply began to hang out. The sun was just rising as the line of cars grew at the Dunkin' Donuts. As soon as the cars showed up, two buckets on ropes went down, and the four men started leaning over the edge, waving to the people putting money in the buckets.
The four — Westminster police Chief Jeff Spaulding, Carroll Sheriff Jim DeWees, state police Westminster Barrack Commander Lt. Pat McCrory and Carroll State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo — vowed to be up on the roof for 30 hours, or until they raised $10,000 for Special Olympics as part of the Cops on a Roof fundraiser.
By 8:30 a.m., they had raised $1,300. Almost two hours later they had $2,300, according to the counts they did every so often.
Spaulding said the community is very generous. Last year, they met their goal, he said.
"It's a great cause, and we're happy to be here," Spaulding said.
In the morning hours, the men were awake and chipper, joking with one another and reminiscing about the previous years they've done Cops on a Roof. They all have nicknames for one another and have a routine for their time on the roof. DeLeonardo, DeWees and McCrory took places on the roof's edge while Spaulding set up chairs on platforms they built on the roof.
DeLeonardo said that Spaulding keeps them all together during their time on the roof.
"Jeff is like the cream in the Boston cream doughnut," he said.
They went up on the roof at 6 a.m. Saturday, climbing up in style — the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department volunteered a fire truck that extended its ladder to the roof. After they were up, if they wanted to come down, they had to use a metal ladder that leaned against the back of the Dunkin' Donuts.
Fifteen minutes in, they were counting down to when they got to come off the roof, but mostly in jest.
"I've done it for four years. I love it," McCrory said.
While they were up on the roof, Special Olympics athletes and volunteers were outside of the drive-through, collecting the donation money. They would grab it from people in the cars and put it in the buckets.
They had four athletes out at about 10:30 a.m., with more stopping by later.
Annie Sturgeon, 37, was one of the Special Olympics athletes helping to collect money. She plays basketball.
Robby Shilling and his mother, Kim, were also helping to collect money. He swims with the Special Olympics, and plays corn toss and lifts weights in school. Shilling said it's cool that the cops were up on the roof.
Kim Shilling said having the four on the roof shows the community support for Special Olympics.
"I just think it's a great opportunity for all of the athletes," she said.
She said the law enforcement agencies are "wonderful" partners and it's a "good matchup."
After 12 hours on the roof, the men were a little quieter but continued to joke with one another as they prepared to watch the Baltimore Ravens preseason game — a TV made it onto the roof, along with an antenna.
DeLeonardo said he was happy that they were getting close to the halfway mark. They were also halfway to their monetary goal, he said.