York County police officers will once again trade handcuffs and ticket pads for trays and drinks Thursday as they participate in the 17th annual Cops and Lobsters event.

Customers can see officers from throughout the county serve them at the Red Lobster on 2555 E. Market St. throughout the day, starting at 11 a.m., with all benefits going to York County Special Olympics.

Fun: Officers in uniform from departments all over the county will be assigned a server and will help them throughout both the lunch and dinner shifts. At the end of the meal, the officers will request an additional tip from the customers, with all the proceeds from the tips going to York County Special Olympics. Customers should still tip their servers as normal.

“It’s a lot of fun for everyone involved,” York City Detective Kyle Hower said.

Hower said between 20 and 30 officers typically help out every year, and they usually raise between $5,000 and $6,000. Last year, they raised $5,264.

He said the event is popular, and the wait time for a table can be over an hour during the event.

"They actually tell us it's busier than Saturday nights," he said.

Special Olympians will also be helping out as greeters during the day.

"The athletes really support what we do because we support what they do," Hower said.

Hower said some officers go above and beyond for the day. He said some officers will work an overnight shift and then come into Red Lobster for the lunch shift, get a few hours of sleep, and go back to doing police work. Some officers even use a vacation day just to help out.

"We're all looking forward to it," Hower said.

In addition to officers helping staff and Special Olympians greeting them, customers can expect to see a police magician and York County Police Pipes and Drums there that day as well.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at

Read or Share this story: