There will be no Grand Slam breakfast feasts for police officers in Belleville, Illinois, anymore. The chief of police there has banned police officers from dining at Denny's after the chain told a group of officers they couldn't bring their guns into the restaurant.
It all started when five detectives who were on duty but not in uniform were out for a meal. A customer spotted a gun on one of the officers and alerted the restaurant. That makes sense, and good for the customer, but what happened next makes no sense at all.
According to WTVR, even after they explained that they were police officers and had their badges displayed and police radios on the table, the manager said that guns weren't allowed in the restaurant no matter what. She said they had to secure the firearms in the car or leave. How insane is that?
If ever there was an ideal customer, you would think an officer of the law would be it. They're generally law abiding folks, and others tend to behave when they see one around because everyone knows they're packing heat. I think even the most adamant gun opponent would say that if anyone should have a gun it's a police officer. So why any manager would ask them to leave once they knew they were police is incredible.
Before the officers left, the general manager came out and said it was a mistake, but at that point the officers had lost their appetite and left.The police chief was furious after the incident, and banned his officers from eating at Denny's. He told WTVR:
It’s absolutely a slap in the face I totally agree it’s completely disrespectful. How can anyone think to tell a police officer you can’t be in here with your gun its absurd to me.
Since then, Denny's corporate office has issued a statement saying that the manager made a mistake, and didn't realize they were police officers at first. They said their national policy is to allow officers to carry weapons, which is good to hear, and I hope they're able to work something out with the officers. It does seem to be just the mistake of one manager, and with apology from the chain, an all out ban seems to be a little bit overboard. For now though, I'm guessing the IHOP or Perkins is pretty happy with the extra business.
Do you think police officers should be banned from carrying weapons anywhere? Do you think the police chief banning officers from eating at Denny's after this incident was an overreaction?
Image via WTVR