By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
If there is truth in the old adage, “safety in numbers,” then Tailgaters Resturant in downtown Hope was likely the safest place in America on Thursday night.
The police were out in force, so to say, as multiple Hope Police officers were the acting servers of the night to raise money for Special Olympics; the premise was pretty simple. The policeman brought dinner to the table, refilled the drinks, and the diner leaves a tip in the Special Olympics envelope at the table.
In Hope, however, where the police and police families have dozens of friends, the night was also a big social event for the local law enforcers as Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton showed up with his family and the families of several of the officers themselves converged at Tailgaters for the Thursday night affair.
Singleton noted, “Looks like we’ve got a pretty good turnout here tonight. It is good to see the support.”
Sheila Young, a Hope resident who showed up, said “This is good that they do this, and it is good to see the community out supporting the policemen. It is also good to see all the cars in downtown at night. This has the feel of a big city downtown atmosphere. There needs to be more things like this to draw people down here during the week nights.”
John Caldwell, co-owner of the popular restaurant with his equally popular wife, Sharon, said that Tailgater could service a top capacity of 59 people inside.
Several times over the course of the four-hour affair, the restaurant did look nearly full to capacity, particularly when several family groups showed up filling two or three combined tables.