The Auburn Police Department is hosting its annual Cops on Top event beginning Friday at 8 a.m. and ending Saturday at 10 p.m. at the Dean Road Kroger.
“Officers will be on top of Kroger and also by the front entrance of the store and the parking lot,” said Capt. James Tatum of the APD. “We are asking the community and supporters to join our efforts to help us make this a success.”
Police officers will be stationed on top of the building and on the ground to help raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics of Alabama, Tatum said.
Cops on Top is a national movement to support the Special Olympics.
“For 38 continuous hours, different officers from the police division will be participating to raise money,” Tatum said. “The money will assist and help people with intellectual disabilities compete in the games.”
Officers will have collection buckets and T-shirts for sale to benefit the cause, Tatum said.
Last year, the state of Alabama raised more than $85,000. The APD ranked third in the state with its fundraising, collecting $14,300 from the community, Tatum said.
“As I put it, we are raising money to try and help the innocent of the innocent,” Tatum said. “I am our division’s coordinator, and I have been doing this on and off for over 20 years now. It is a great cause.”
Kroger is hosting the event for the second year and is excited to see how much money customers will donate.
“It was a very successful event for them last year,” said John Moore, manager of Kroger. “Our customer base at this store is very loyal. Whether it’s Girl Scouts selling cookies or a local church group doing a car wash, our customer base is always very generous to support those groups.”
Moore says his store enjoyed the event so much last year that he wanted to make sure they could host it again this year.
“I actually called him before he called me because we really enjoy doing it,” Moore said. “It adds a little more excitement to the everyday retail business.”
Megan Chard, junior in psychology, knows how important the event is to the children.
“I have worked with autistic kids that have participated in the Special Olympics,” Chard said. “I think Cops on Top is a unique fundraiser that gets people’s attention. You can get your normal errands done while also donating to a great cause. It is very convenient for everyone.”
Tatum is grateful for the support Kroger has given to the cause.
“Kroger has been very helpful, and they have been a great partner with us as far as providing the facilities and assisting us with the event itself,” Tatum said.
For more information on the Special Olympics or the Cops on Top event, contact Capt. James Tatum at 334-501-3159.