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Short-staffed Waffle House crew gets help from tired officers

Officers helped get a struggling Waffle house back up and running Sunday
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Dandridge Waffle House received unexpected help from six Jefferson County correctional officers over the weekend.

Sergeant Johnathan Bright told WVLT News the crew visits the restaurant every week after a 12-hour shift. Bright said the popular breakfast place was closed for the first time when they arrived. A waitress apparently told them several employees walked out mid-shift early Sunday morning, leaving behind piles of dirty dishes, overflowing trash and a short staff.

“There wasn’t a single clean dish insight,” said Bright. “There was one elderly woman in there. I had never seen (her), but she has really bad arthritis in her hands. Looking at her, it hurt her to work a broom. So, I was like we need to help them.’

The officers said for two hours they cleaned, took orders and got the restaurant back up and running.

“We were cleaning the toilets, the sinks -- everything from top down,” Tracy Roberts said.

Why’d they do it? The officers said they understand a tough job.

“It’s stressful for us in the jail, because once these people are arrested and brought in they’re mad. They’re upset and we have to talk them down once they get there,” Corporal Kayla Gabbard said.

Waffle House did not comment, but sheriff Jeff Coffey said he’s proud of his team and challenged everyone to perform a random act of kindness to “make the world a better place.”

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