Why Are There Police On The Roof Of Dunkin' Donuts?

Aug 18, 2017

Frequent customers of any Dunkin Donuts location know that the stereotype isn’t totally overblown; it’s not uncommon to see a police cruiser in the drive-through or a cop inside. An officer on the roof, however, is a new one.

Friday morning, customers at the Dunkin Donuts on Route 15 in Colchester probably noticed a police officer, armed and in full uniform, on the roof of the popular before-work breakfast and coffee stop.

Unlike most law enforcement officers who end up looking down from rooftops, Winnoski Police Officer Derrick Kendrew wasn’t giving every customer a suspicious look over. Instead, he was waving, joking, and laughing at the novelty of being a “cop on top.”

“Basically what it is, is I’m up here,” Kendrew half-shouted from the roof down to the parking lot, “and we got a couple of other officers stationed around the [building], and we’re raising money for the torch run and Special Olympics Vermont.”

Kendrew, along with multiple officers stationed inside the Dunkin Donuts and next to the drive-through window, were raising awareness and money for the Special Olympics.

Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison was stationed at the drive-through window. She was standing with two Bocce athletes – one of them wearing her silver medal from a past Special Olympics event.

Kate Bove, one of the athletes, said she’s taking the fall season off but she plans to compete in the holiday games at the end of the year. Standing alongside Morrison, who was collecting donations from drive-through customers in a five-gallon bucket, Bove said support for the Special Olympics is about a lot more than the games themselves.

“It means giving a chance to show what people with disabilities can do, and that we have a chance to prove that just because we have disabilities doesn’t mean we can’t do things,” she said.

Bove said the “cops on top” tactic seemed to be working.

"[The Special Olympics] means giving a chance to show what people with disabilities can do, and that we have a chance to prove that just because we have disabilities doesn't mean we can't do things." — Kate Bove, Special Olympics athlete

“It’s fun, and people are giving whatever they can, which is very nice,” she said.

During the interview, everyone Morrison asked for a donation dropped a bill or some change into the bucket. Morrison, in return, handed them coupons for a free doughnut.

Morrison said this isn’t the first time law enforcement professionals have spent time on a rooftop raising money for the Special Olympics.

“It started earlier this summer with the event on top of the [Green Mountain] Harley Davidson, where the police officers stayed on top for 24 hours and solicited donations, and it was in conjunction with a cornhole event and a bunch of activities,” Morrison said.

Half-shouting from the roof, Kendrick said the latest iteration of “cop on top” has a wider reach.

“Dunkin Donuts corporation actually jumped on board, we’re actually doing it at eight locations today,” he said.

In Colchester, Rutland, South Burlington, Saint Albans, Williston, Burlington, Montpelier and Stowe, cops took to the rooftop of Dunkin Donuts locations to solicit donations for the Special Olympics.

Morrison said this event doesn’t involve a 24-hour stay on the rooftops, but for the morning, Kendrew would remain cop on top.

“We got up top, we were waving at people, and then we realized it would probably be more effective to have some interaction with folks not from up on the roof. So we left Derrick up there and told him he could not come down until we raised enough money,” she said, laughing.

On the roof, Kendrew showed no sign of slowing down, waving and greeting everyone who looked up, even as the breakfast rush was winding down.