Police barbecue benefitting Special Olympics is Friday, May 5

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Valley Central: Thatcher Police Chief Shaffen Woods, right, said his department will continue to work the Mary Anne Holmes cold case until a resolution is found.

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – Law enforcement’s motto is “To Protect and Serve” and this Friday, May 5, is the public’s chance to have officers from the Safford and Thatcher police departments serve them up some delicious grub during its fundraiser for Special Olympics.

The third annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Barbecue is back and for the low price of just $10 a person will receive a BBQ plate that includes a shredded meat and beans dinner, roll, coleslaw, cookie and drink, along with super savory barbecue sauce on the side.

Tickets can be purchased at the Safford and Thatcher police departments Monday-Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by contacting Safford Fire Chief Clark Bingham at 928-322-1269 or from any Safford Police officer.

Dinner plates will be available for pickup from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Safford Fire Department at 650 S 7th Ave., next to City Hall. Officers and firefighters will provide “curbside service” for those receiving dinners. 

All proceeds from the event go toward Arizona’s Special Olympics.

Earlier this month, law enforcement helped earn nearly $2,300 in donations for the Special Olympics at its Tip-A-Cop event where officers took over for waiters for the day and their tips and other donations were pooled.

Safford Police Chief Joe Brugman encouraged the public to join in on the barbecue.

“In some way, shape or form, all of us in our community learn from our Special Olympians,” Brugman said. “Their positive attitude and positive spirit is something we can all learn from.”

Eric Burk File Photo/Gila Valley Central: ASPC Officer Colvin carries drinks to a table during the Tip-A-Cop event.

Graham County law enforcement members will also participate in the annual Torch Run on Monday, May 1, as they help traverse the Flame of Hope across Graham County on its way to Phoenix.

Graham County’s leg of the torch’s trip will begin at Arizona State Prison Complex-Safford and end at the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where San Carlos Police Department members will take it on its next leg to Globe.

During Graham County’s leg of the Torch Run, past participants have joined in by running along or riding bicycles and horses. Last year, local Special Olympians joined in and carried the torch from the Safford Post Office to Firth Park.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Valley Central: Graham County Sheriff’s Office and jail employees display the Flame of Hope during last year’s Torch Run. Pictured are, front, from left, jail Sgt. Joni Kennedy, GCSO Administration Supervisor Ida Furnish, GCSO receptionist Virgie Romero and GCSO records specialist Maria Castro; back, from left, jail Sgt. Tyler Attaway and GCSO deputy Ben Schysm.

So, if you’ve got a hankering for some good cop barbecue, want to have officers wait on you or just want to help support the Special Olympics, visit Safford or Thatcher police departments and buy some dinners or get in touch with Safford Fire Chief Bingham sometime this week. The earlier the better, so the police know how much food to procure to keep their costs down and proceeds high.