xml:space="preserve">

OK, stop us if you've heard this one before: What business has 24-hour police protection? Give up? A doughnut shop, of course.

We've all heard this or other similar jokes before. Police and doughnuts are a stereotype that every officer has had to endure way too often during their careers. While we might laugh from time to time at these jokes, it's certainly used as an unfair dig against our men and women in blue. Police are depicted in movies, TV shows and other forms of media as addicted doughnut lovers. As best as anyone can tell, the reference goes back to the 1950s or before when the only place open in the middle of the night for police to get a coffee or something to eat during the overnight shift was the local doughnut shop.

Advertisement

This weekend, local police are embracing the joke as part of a "Cops on Rooftops" fundraising effort for Special Olympics. Westminster Police Department Chief Jeff Spaulding, Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, Maryland State Police Lt. Pat McCrory and Carroll County State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo plan on staying on the roof of the Dunkin' Donuts on Md. 140 in Westminster starting 6 a.m. Saturday until noon Sunday.

The goal is to raise money to benefit Special Olympics Maryland, the nonprofit that provides sports and athletic training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This weekend, local law enforcement hopes to raise $9,000 for the charity all the while demonstrating that police can be good sports about the teasing they often get. "This event allows us to do something great for an incredible organization and poke a little fun at ourselves at the same time. What could be better than that," Spaulding said in a news release.

This is the sixth year local Carroll County police have participated in "Cops on Rooftops." It's part of a national program and is being held regionally at various Dunkin' Donuts in Maryland and is arranged by the doughnut company, the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics Maryland.

It's hard to ignore that this fundraiser is set against the backdrop of what unfortunately is becoming an anti-police bias in some cities across the country. Coincidentally, a recent incident of police bias came at a Dunkin' Donuts in Connecticut where an employee told an officer waiting in line that "we don't serve cops here." Fortunately, Dunkin' Donuts took to Twitter quickly and apologized, saying that employee exhibited poor judgment. We bring up the Connecticut incident because we find it disturbing that the actions of a few bad cops has prompted some to stereotype all police as bad people. It's especially disconcerting when you see the efforts of police here — and across the country — giving up their free time for charities such as Special Olympics.

If you agree, and honestly, even if you don't, we encourage you to stop by to cheer on police Saturday and Sunday. Maybe even buy them a doughnut and coffee. That's one stereotype we're pretty sure they don't mind hearing.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement