Milpitas cops serve restaurant patrons in support of Special Olympics

By , in Events on .

 

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and had a cop appear as your server?

If you were at Milpitas’ Black Bear Diner recently, you might have — all for the sake of supporting the Special Olympics…

Special Olympian Jocko Mayes was a standout at the diner. Back in 2017, Mayes won first place in the Breast Stroke competition, during the State Games of the Special Olympics, held at the University of Davis.  

For Mayes, being a part of the Special Olympics, an organization that offers individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train and compete in sports, has been nothing short of life-changing. His journey began in Southern California when he was just 8 years old.  

“I remember watching the Special Olympics on TV, and seeing my brother compete,” said Mayes.

 

Jocko Mayes, with his First Place medal.

 

Ever since he first joined as a child, he’s trained and competed in a variety of sports, from swimming to golfing, snowboarding to soccer, and even flag football. “Pretty soon, I’ll be adding volleyball and floor hockey, too. I’ve been doing the Special Olympics for 40 years. Twenty years in Southern California, and now 20 years here in Northern California. I like doing all kinds of sports. It makes me feel good.”

The Tip a Cop event at the Black Bear Diner on Thursday, May 3, which lasted from 10am – 2pm, found Mayes representing Monterey County Special Olympics.

Every year, Tip a Cop events crop up in cities throughout the region, to raise funds for the Northern California Special Olympics. Each participating cop devotes a shift to appearing, and actually helping to serve the patrons.  

“This is a chance for us to help others by giving back and providing opportunities for people to participate in these special events, like the Special Olympics,” said Seargent Bryan Hinkley, who was instrumental in organizing this latest event. In fact, he has organized the past three Tip a Cop events in Milpitas.  

Lieutenant Raj Maharaj showed up to see if the team needed any additional help, but as it turned out, they had it covered. So he decided to do what any ordinary person would do: stay and have breakfast. “It’s a great cause,” said Lieutenant Maharaj. “It gives these young men and women a great platform to do athletics, and to really have a strong reason behind what they’re doing.”  

 

Left to Right: Officer Kita Inthasack, Captain Kevin Moscuzza, Captain Daryl Sequeira, and Officer John Muok. 

 

Diners at the restaurant cracked smiles, as police officers refilled their coffee mugs and chatted with them at their tables. Milpitas City Staff, and some additional officers from the Police Department, also came out to support the cause and grab a quick bite.

Along with the crew of eight police officers, an eight-volunteer team appeared, as well, from the Police Department’s Citizen Volunteer Program.

“The volunteers help at special events. They get certified to drive an unmarked police vehicle; they can go out and do vacation house checks…If we’re having an issue with burglary in a certain part of the city, they can go out and patrol that area,” said Sergeant Hinkley. 

Another Tip a Cop event might be on the horizon for Milpitas, this coming October. “Special Olympics in Northern California raised about a million dollars last year. This year they want to raise two million,” said Sergeant Hinkley. “They’re putting it out there for any agencies that want to do another one in October. It’ll most likely be during the evening.” 

To learn more about the Northern California Special Olympics, go to: 

https://www.sonc.org

 

 

 

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.
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