The Berkeley police strive to serve the city’s citizens, but tonight they will serve in a different way.

Members of the force will act as waiters tonight at Skates-on-the-Bay in the Berkeley Marina as part of a Special Olympics fundraiser. The event, which runs from 5 to 9 pm, is called “Tip-A-Cop,” and this may be the only time people can legally slip some extra tender to the men in blue.

Led by Police Chief Michael Meehan, the police officers will be in uniform and will assist the restaurant’s regular staff. They will sing “Happy Birthday” to any patrons celebrating the special occasion.

The hope is that restaurant patrons will leave an extra tip for this value-added service.

The 2009 “Tip-A-Cop” fundraiser at Skates raised $2,900 for Special Olympics, according to a press release put out by the department.

Berkeley police have raised $7,300 so far this year for the Special Olympics.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...