GLENDALE— Kathy Allen and Lupe Bourden picked up their pasta and salad and left in a flash.
The Glendale police dispatchers had to return to the phones and were unable to linger around police and firefighters who were treated to a catered lunch by the Olive Garden in Glendale on Labor Day.
"We've got to get back to dispatch," Allen said.
The Italian restaurant chain donated and catered lunches to local fire and police offices throughout the nation Monday. It's one way the company can thank public servants, service assistant Deborah Sanford said.
Restaurant staff brought penne, lasagna, house salad and three different desserts to feed about 100 police and firefighters.
Officers returning from patrol joined police communications, jail, detectives and records staff for lunch. Firemen arrived later in deliberate shifts.
"It's strategic," police Sgt. Kevin Hirano said. "We balance service we can provide to the city and there's a certain number we can't go below."