Five plainclothes detectives were kicked out of a Denny’s restaurant for carrying their guns.
By Matt Pearce
Are you a cop? Do you carry a gun? Don’t go to the Denny’s in Belleville, Ill.
You are not allowed, the police chief says. Not after what happened Tuesday.
The flapjacks — sorry, the flap — began when several on-duty detectives with the Belleville Police Department dropped in to Denny’s for some on-duty noshing, according to local media.
They had their badges and their guns, but as detectives, not their uniforms, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This bothered a patron who then complained to a manager, David Rice, who then complained to one of the detectives: Please take your gun to your car or leave. No guns allowed.
“Upon further discussion, we became aware the individual was a plain-clothed police officer,” Denny’s spokeswoman Liz DiTrapano said in a statement, according to the News-Democrat. “Denny’s policy permits law enforcement officials to carry their firearms in the restaurant, and we regret any misunderstanding.”
Denny’s sure does, because despite the efforts of a general manager who tried (and failed) to clear up the misunderstanding before the detectives left, the department’s chief banned on-duty and off-duty police in uniform from returning to the restaurant.
“This was an insult, a slap in the face, to those detectives and to all of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform or badge and serve in law enforcement,” Police Chief William Clay said, according to the News-Democrat.
“This individual [Rice] was the manager of Denny’s. He therefore speaks for Denny’s, in my mind. This policy effectively prohibits on-duty sworn police officers from dining in a Denny’s Restaurant, but allows ‘registered sex offenders,’ ‘felons’ and or ‘pedophiles’ to enjoy a dining experience in Denny’s.”