SLPD officers to become baristas for Tip A Cop 2023

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Nov. 20—SOAP LAKE — The Soap Lake Police Department will be serving coffee in a good cause at the Busy Bean coffee stand Dec. 5. Proceeds from the "Tip A Cop" fundraiser will go to the SLPD Benevolent Fund, used for its Shop with a Cop program, among other things.

Officers will be serving coffee from 6 to 11 a.m.; the coffee stand is located at 320 Sixth Ave. SE in Soap Lake.

To say the officers will be making coffee might be a little overstated — SLPD Chief Ryan Cox said the Busy Bean servers don't need any help from the cops.

"They're so good they have your order before you get to the window (to order)," Cox said.

As a result the SLPD officers mainly hand over the coffee and take the money.

"We're there for visual entertainment purposes only," Cox said.

It's the fifth year that the SLPD and Busy Bean owner Kenzie Balentine have teamed up to raise money for Shop with a Cop. Balantine has coffee stands in Moses Lake and Ephrata, and Cox said at the Soap Lake City Council meeting Nov. 15 that donations for SLPD will be accepted at the other locations.

Soap Lake Officer Justin Rowland will be back dressed as a certain jolly old elf from the North Pole.

Proceeds go to the Shop with a Cop program, and any money left can be used to help people, especially children, in emergency situations, Cox said.

The department selects children from the Soap Lake School District and takes them on a shopping trip, searching for Christmas presents for their family and maybe a couple of things for themselves. Each child has a budget and must stick to that budget.

Once they're done shopping the children and officers head back to the Soap Lake Senior Center for dinner — that ensures everyone goes home with a full tummy, Cox said — and to wrap presents. The department gets help from local Soap Lake and Ephrata businesses.

Cox said Shop with a Cop is a way for the SLPD to help children and families in need, in a small town where everybody knows, or knows of, each other.

"Parts of our community struggle pretty darn hard," Cox said. "We see these families every day."

People who want to donate to the Benevolent Fund or specifically to Shop with a Cop can contact the SLPD at 509-246-1122.