By William C. Singleton III
Members of the Homewood Police Department spent a recent Saturday atop Chick-fil-A in Homewood and roaming the premises–but they weren’t looking for crime suspects.
Instead, during the April 5 event, they were looking for donations from patrons for the Special Olympics.
The Homewood Police Department annually holds a fundraiser for the Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, partnering with a local business to use its facilities to ask for contributions from their customers. The Chick-fil-A store at 211 Lakeshore Parkway agreed to partner with the Homewood police this year.
As customers rode through the drive-thru line or exited their vehicles to enter the restaurant, they were greeted by Homewood police and students of the Exceptional Foundation and some from Homewood Middle School carrying buckets and asking for donations.
They were encouraged by Homewood Lt. Ken Atkinson, who stood atop Chick-fil-A with flashing blue lights and a microphone, broadcasting the need for donations.
“We’re just trying to draw attention to our cause,” said Homewood Chief Jim Robertson. “We just want them to know what we’re about here, and the flashing blue lights and the PA system and McGruff the Crime Dog are all a part of that.”
The Cops on Top fundraiser was scheduled for April 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., but rain put a damper on the cause, resulting in the police department concluding the event earlier than they wanted. But April 5 provided sunny weather, so a police officer stayed on the roof from 6 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sandy Ballard, spokesperson for Chick-fil-A at the Brookwood Village store, said other Chick-fil-A stores in the Birmingham area also sponsored similar fundraisers with their local police agencies.
“We’re just proud to be community sponsors and get out in the community and help raise awareness for the police and what they’re trying to do,” she said. “We’re just glad Chick-fil-A, the Homewood Police Department and the Special Olympics can come together for this worthy cause.”