ROCKLAND, Maine — Following strict rules on doughnut-eating etiquette, five area law enforcement officers chomped their way through six doughnuts each in a competition Thursday to raise money for Special Olympics of Maine.

Seated at a long table at Tim Hortons doughnut shop in Rockland, the officers raced through their meal to see who would finish first.

Meanwhile customers made donations to the Special Olympics of Maine for the police officer they thought would win. When the competition was over the officers had raised $302.92.

At the start, each policeman was given a box with an assortment of six doughnuts ranging from sugarcoated jelly to frosted.

“You start with the first doughnut on the left,” said Tim Hortons co-owner Evelyn Knutsen, who gave the instructions. “You’ll be finished once you’ve swallowed the sixth one.”

Emma Arndt, 13, daughter of Scott and Melissa Arndt of Rockland, rang a bell to start the race and rang it again when there was a winner, who turned out to be Derek Knutsen, the shop’s co-owner.

Knutsen admitted he had been practicing.

“Let it be known that a civilian, not a cop, won this competition,” quipped one of the contestants, Lt. Randy Gagne of the Camden Police Department.

Traffic Officer Troy Peasley of the Rockland Police Department coordinated the event and kept the doughnuts moving.

The contestants were Rockland Police Department Chief Bruce Boucher, Lt. Joseph Kieras of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Craig Cooley of the Rockport Police Department, Thomaston Police Department Chief Kevin Haj, Randy Gagne and Derek Knutsen. Tim Hortons donated the doughnuts.