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Morrow cops: Be a hero, go to Joe's

Police to join Special Olympics fundraiser

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty holds up this year's Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirt. His department will sell the shirts during the Special Olympics ‘Tip-A-Cop’ fundraiser at Joe's Crab Shack in Morrow July 18.

Morrow police Chief Chris Leighty holds up this year's Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirt. His department will sell the shirts during the Special Olympics ‘Tip-A-Cop’ fundraiser at Joe's Crab Shack in Morrow July 18.

— Morrow police are asking Clayton County residents to “Eat at Joe’s” and help children and adults with disabilities participate in athletic contests.

The cops will dance, wear wigs and take orders from residents during Joe's Crab Shack's annual “Tip-A-Cop” fundraiser for Special Olympics July 18. The event will run from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. at the Morrow location at 1965 Mount Zion Road.

The department is one of a handful in Georgia participating in Tip-A-Cop, and the Morrow Joe’s Crab Shack is the only participating location on the southside of Atlanta. The other participating locations are in Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw and Stone Mountain.

“It’s kinda like the Give Burns the Boot fundraiser that the firefighters do,” said police Chief Chris Leighty. “You can’t fault anybody for wanting to raise money for Special Olympics. It’s a great group of folks and those kids have huge hearts. It’s just something to be able to send a kid to the Special Olympics. That’s what this money does.”

This will mark the department's second year participating in the fundraiser. Last year, the cops raised about $3,300. They received a Rookie Department of the Year Award from Georgia Special Olympics for their efforts. They hope to surpass that this year because departments that raise at least $5,000 get listed as top fundraisers on the back of the T-shirts for the annual law enforcement Special Olympics torch run.

“I’d like to raise over $5,000,” said Leighty. “The fundraising departments that raised over $5,000 last year were John’s Creek, MARTA, Atlanta PD, Dougherty County sheriff’s and Gwinnett County sheriff’s.”

Residents must bring a voucher that allows 10 percent of their meal purchase to go toward Special Olympics. The city has posted the voucher on its website, www.cityofmorrow.com, and is distributing copies of it at the city's tourist center at 6475 Jonesboro Road.

The voucher can also be found on www.specialolympicsga.org/.

Leighty also said people can help Special Olympics by purchasing this year’s torch run T-shirt and baseball caps during Tip-A-Cop day.

The department’s command staff, off-duty officers, part-time employees and reserve officers will be on hand to do the fundraising, said Leighty. Officers will rotate in and out of the restaurant throughout the day.

The department has invited Clayton County police and sheriff’s deputies, as well as Clayton State University’s public safety department and the six other municipal police departments in the county, to join in the fundraising effort. Leighty said he wasn’t sure how many of the invited agencies would be at the restaurant though.

“We’ll be there in uniform,” said Leighty. “When people come in, we’ll be there to greet them. You know how Joe’s Crab Shack will play certain songs and everyone will dance? Well, we’ll dance when the songs come on and wear wigs. Hopefully, we’ll have a Special Olympian out there with us. We did last year and it really kinda brings home what the spirit of the day is for.”