Citizens Charged with Generosity at Annual Tip a Cop Event

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: April 2, 2015

The Valparaiso Police Department was dispatched to Kelsey’s Steak House on Thursday night on a report of domestic deliciousness. Officers were on scene donning aprons and apprehending the appetites of guests, implementing procedures for the annual Tip a Cop operation.

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Tip a Cop is an event that raises funds for the Gang Resistant Education and Training Program (GREAT). This program, executed by Officer Terry Cox, is designed to teach important life skills to 7th grade students at all Valparaiso Schools, and has been happening at Kelsey's for many years. Officers on duty at Tip a Cop collected tips left by diners which they proceeded to donate to the GREAT program.

"The GREAT program is a 12-week course that is taught at all of the middle schools," Officer Cox said. "All of the 7th graders from St. Paul's, Thomas Jefferson, Immanuel Lutheran, and Ben Franklin get to learn. We talk about a lot of things like how to deal with peer pressure, how to say 'no', how to manage anger, how to make good choices and decisions... Each week is different. I really enjoy this event. It's a fun time. I knowing that we can help the kids in this way."

For five hours, guests willingly surrendered their dinnertimes to support the GREAT program. Witnesses say that officers were friendly, fun, and there were allegedly sightings of humor.

Owner of Kelsey’s Steak House, Michelle Prosser described the scene.

"This is an event that we love doing with the Valpo Police Department," Prosser said. "Knowing that we can help the community in a fun and family-friendly way means a lot to us."

The scene became tense as Chief Michael Brickner and Captain Michael DeHaven were said participate in Kelsey’s famous 6 Pound Challenge. The task is to take down a 96 oz. top sirloin steak, a potato side dish, a salad or cup of soup, and a slice of bread, in one hour. The officers took swift action and proceeded to neutralize their meals, their method of entry: knives, forks, and pure grit.

One witness reports Chief Brickner giving a "thumbs up" during proceedings, indicating that he was successfully subduing his steak and both he and Captain DeHaven were pleased with the amount of GREAT donations that guests were giving.

Kelsey's, the Valparaiso Police Department, and the good people of this city can sleep soundly at night knowing that their youth will live to learn another day.

Further donations will be accepted for the GREAT program at the Valparaiso Police Department on 355 Washington Street.