On New Year’s Day, several on-duty plain clothes officers were dining at a Belleville, Ill. Denny’s, when a customer complained to the manager that one of the officers was carrying a gun. The Denny’s manager told the officer she would have to leave or put the gun in her car, as guns are not allowed on their premises.
“It’s absolutely a slap in the face I totally agree it’s completely disrespectful,” Belleville Police Captain Don sax said in a KTVI Fox2 report. “I’ve never known anybody that didn’t want a police officer present in an establishment in a business. It’s added security, it’s absolutely what they want.”
Denny’s released a statement that said their “policy permits law enforcement officials to carry their firearms in the restaurant and we regret any misunderstanding.”
Sax said the police had their badges in full view, and portable police radios were on the table. When a second manager arrived and said they could stay, they left anyway. Belleview Police Chief William Clay then made headlines when he banned his officers from eating at the Denny’s while on duty.
On Thursday, a Denny’s official met with police and assured them Denny’s welcomes any law enforcement officer to carry their weapons while inside a Denny’s, according to the updated report. The restaurant called the incident a “misunderstanding”, and Chief Clay has now lifted the ban.
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