"I used to do it in high school," Sgt. Tom Cuthbertson said of his long-ago waiter gig. "It's like riding a bike."
Officer Tom Johannes, who took a break from making a hot-fudge sundae, said of waiting tables, "I did this 13 years ago before I was a cop."
The apron-clad, tray-carrying officers in various ranks attended tables for the New Baltimore Police Officers Association "Catering for Cops" that benefits several community causes like the Anchor Bay Giving Tree, Justin Mello KidPrint Identification Program, New Baltimore Police Reserve Unit and more.
Cuthbertson serves as the association president and Johannes is vice president.
Diners show support
The crowded restaurant brought police department supporters and regular customers for the three-hour event. The Country Inn donated 10 percent of the proceeds and all of the tips to the association. Approximately $1,300 was raised for the association, according to police Chief Tim Wiley.
Among the patrons was 42-2 District Court Judge William Hackel III who came to the fundraiser with his family directly after presiding over a case.
"It was packed," Hackel said, noting the police did a great job filling in as waiters.
Ira Township resident Edith Harvey, who previously lived in New Baltimore, was impressed with the turnout at the fundraiser that saw a line out the door at one point.
"This is a great idea," Harvey said. "I come in here every Monday and it's never like this."
New Baltimore resident Frank Krause went to the restaurant to show his support.
"It was fantastic and we put our share in for a big tip," Krause said.
"They did a good job—maybe not so talented—but very friendly," he said with a laugh.
Sticking to their day jobs
Country Inn waitress Jessica Miracle steered the law enforcement team in the right direction on the floor.
"They're doing pretty good," Miracle said.
But, there were some dining casualties during their shift.
"Tom (Johannes) spilled some water," she said.
Wiley also reported, "Sgt. (Charles) Esser melted a coconut cream pie."
The chief admitted he doesn't have the best track record in food service either.
"I got fired from the Green Street Tavern," he said of his busboy job when he was 15 years old. "I was told by a customer that I gave too much service.
"I fell into the police work from that."
To learn more about the New Baltimore Police Officers Association, visit its webpage.