Policing often is a thankless job, but not today.
May 17 is Thank A Cop Day, and Tucson's finest will be feted with free barbecue, pizza, tacos — and doughnuts — all donated by more than two dozen area eateries.
Police departments in Marana and at the University of Arizona will share in the donated goodies as part of events organized by the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation.
In Tucson, the day starts with a meet-and-greet at Dunkin Donuts at East Grant and North Swan roads, where members of the public can drop in between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. to mingle with officers and munch free treats.
Food deliveries to police stations are expected to continue throughout the day, said organizer Bonnie Faircloth, the foundation's executive director and the spouse of recently retired Pima County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jessie Faircloth.
Faircloth chuckled when asked about using the backdrop of a doughnut shop — long seen as a stereotypical hangout for police officers — to launch the day's events.
"The cops probably don't like the stereotype, but the owner of that Dunkin Donuts is a huge supporter," of law enforcement and a generous foundation donor, she explained.
"We are proud to have the opportunity to show the dedicated officers and personnel in public service that they have our absolute support and appreciation," she said.
Organizers say there are many ways for the public to participate. Among their suggestions:
• Change your social media profile picture and/or post a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.
• Place ‘Thank A Cop Today’ on your roadside signage/marquee.
• Encourage friends, family, schools and co-workers to deliver thank-you cards/notes to a local police station.
• Pick up a THANK A COP bumper sticker at TPD, Marana or UA police departments.
• Simply walk up to an officer and say, ‘Thank you for your service and for protecting us.’ Or, give a friendly wave when passing by.