A police chief in Belleville, Ill. has banned his officers from eating at a local Denny's and accused the restaurant of "political stupidness" after a confrontation between a group of detectives and the restaurant's manager on New Year's Day, CBS St. Louis reports.
According to CBS, a diner was alarmed after spotting a female officer's weapon and alerted David Rice, the restaurant's manager. Rice subsequently approached the five detectives, who were not in uniform, and asked that they either leave the restaurant or put their weapons in their car. The officers left before being served their meal.
As the detectives made their way out, the restaurant's general manager intervened and said Rice had made a mistake, but the detectives left anyway, according to KMOV St. Louis. Belleville Police Captain Don Sax told Fox2Now that the officers "had been harassed enough."
In an email to The Huffington Post, a representative from Denny's corporate office explained that the Denny's manager did not initially realize the armed customers were police officers and that the restaurant's policy allows law enforcement officials to carry weapons. The spokesperson said it has reminded all of its restaurants of the policty and sincerely "apologize[s] for this misunderstanding."
Though Denny's may have lost the potential patronage of Belleville's 82 officers, other restaurant chains attempt to cultivate relationships with their local police force by offering discounts and serving up free meals.
A Chipotle in Brooklyn, N.Y. reportedly gives police officers in uniform a 50 percent discount, the New York Times reported, and Starbucks authorizes its workers to give first responders -- including firefighters and police officers -- free coffee.