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Ill. Officers Asked To Leave Denny's

January 03, 2013  | 

Photo via Fire Monkey Fish/Flickr.
Photo via Fire Monkey Fish/Flickr.

A group of Belleville (Ill.) Police detectives were asked to leave a Denny's restaurant after a patron complained about a female detective's service weapon.

The detectives were wearing plain clothes, but had their badges visible, Capt. Don Sax told KSDK.

A restaurant manager approached a female detective on New Year's Day inside the Denny's at 1130 S. Illinois St. The detectives informed the manager that they were on-duty detectives. The manager reiterated that the officers needed to either place the gun in the car or leave.

Denny's later issued a statement saying the restaurant permits officers to carry firearms while eating and, "we regret any misunderstanding."

In response, Belleville Police Chief William Clay released a directive banning all sworn officers from eating at the restaurant.

"While I am appalled at this policy, I am sadly not shocked by it," Chief Clay told the Belleville News-Democrat. "We see so much political stupidness carried out in this day and age. I am hopeful that this incident reflects on the poor judgment of one individual and not the Denny's restaurant chain."

Comments (63)

Displaying 1 - 63 of 63

allie @ 1/3/2013 4:32 PM

Political stupidness- I love it!! Well, they just lost their free armed security- and thanks to the media, anyone wanting to commit a crime now knows that this Denny's is never going to have any cop patrons....

Robert Smith (PO retired) @ 1/3/2013 6:20 PM

Between this story the News Paper here in NY printing the names and addresses of CCW permit holders under the opening statement about the Sandy Hook massacre (retired and active POs in the list) and the rush to destroy the second amendment one must give pause and wonder if society has truly reached its breaking point. The liberal agenda has become so radical that it is a threat to the American way of life. From the tolerance of illegal aliens, voter fraud, legalization of drugs, and the removal of self defense any reasonable person with some knowledge of history should see some truly disturbing trends and parallels. I wonder if this is how it felt in Germany in the 1930s? Stay Safe my brothers and sisters and remember the line "to support and defend the united States Constitution against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC!

DanB @ 1/4/2013 7:08 AM

Re: the statement from Denny's. Misunderstanding my a$$! Someone saw a gun and didn't like it. The manager was plainly told those carrying the weapons were on-duty police officers. Wonder if that patron would be offended at the sight of their weapons if they were at the patron's house investigating a crime? The manager should have explained to the patron they were on-duty police officers and as such, were authorized and required to carry their service weapons. If that wasn't good enough for the patron, he could have offered to move the patron who was complaining. If that still wasn't good enough, he could have offered to refund the money to the patron and asked him (her) to leave.

hollyk @ 1/4/2013 8:27 AM

How dumb are people today, I would have choosen to eat there because of the protection felt by the officer, I'm so sick of a few running America, and half of the political idoits are running our biggest cities, when will Americans wake up, I hope my child teacher breaks the law and keeps a gun at school with them to protect my child from the real evil in the world!

Tom Ret @ 1/4/2013 12:25 PM

This manager should be fired as she has no common sense. This is one time the cops should have told her to go pound sand or go call the cops if she didn't like it. This boils my blood and I'm retired.

Coop @ 1/4/2013 5:47 PM

This is not a new concept by Denny's. Some years ago several U.S.S.S. agents were denied service by a Denny's. These agents happened to be black. So evidently there are several levels of dis-qualifiers for service at Denny's. Which is why I have not been inside one since the first incident...and now, perhaps I will avoid driving in the vicinity of one!

Tinstarbilly @ 1/4/2013 6:14 PM

So if the detective was to come in to investigate a robbery or God forbid a "dine and dash" she must disarm before coming in so as not to offend the patrons? What a friggin moron! This is beyond ludicrous.

NELEO @ 1/4/2013 6:26 PM

Well I guess Ill dine at IHOP instaed!

Andy @ 1/4/2013 6:34 PM

This manager must be a total idiot. She deserves to be fired. What if they were uniform officer's, they're still sworn officer's and have the right to carry firearms. They're sworn to protect and serve. It would have been interesting if the idiot that made the request was a crook held up the manger. I hope the idiot that made the request never needs a cop, it would be interesting to know the criminal history of the one who made the request. I applaud the C.O.P. doing what he did. Maybe the citizenry should boycott the restaurant as well if the restaurant doesn't take action against the employee.

DEADMAN @ 1/4/2013 6:39 PM

If you don't want this beautiful,wonderful country to devolve into a dismal state more so than it is today,i would suggest that you become more politically involved and elect people of good moral character,unlike the trash that are in office today.Did you ever notice that the cities with most anti-gun laws and highest homicide rates are governed by democrats,why is that,L.A.,Detroit,Chicago,D.C.,New York,Philadelphia.Maybe Eric Holder has Franchises in those cities.

Candelyn @ 1/4/2013 6:41 PM

What was it about the detective's weapon that the customer was upset about? How odd that part was left out!!
Trust me on this customer you will not keep me away from my pancakes.

DEADMAN @ 1/4/2013 6:44 PM

I was going to go to Denneys tomorrow after church,oh well,there is always Bob Evans where i'm welcome.

Swatcop226 @ 1/4/2013 7:43 PM

The name of the manager would be nice.

Frank @ 1/4/2013 7:55 PM

Well said folks!

Vixen63 @ 1/4/2013 7:56 PM

It never ceases to amaze me how any story written always generate comments regarding racism and political agenda. Could it be that the employee was INDEED acting on Denny's policy and now Denny's is back-paddling because of the bad press it is getting and making the employee a sacrificial lamb? Could it be that this particular Denny's is just placating to its loyal customers and felt the officers would understand and perhaps put a jacket on to cover their weapons and not turn it into National News. I am sorry but I think this whole thing was blown out of proportion and could have easily been handled where both sides would have been satisfied if a representative from the police department and the Denny's sat down and discussed the issue.

hhcop @ 1/4/2013 8:05 PM

to vixen 63--"can't we all just get along"--boo hooo

James Nye @ 1/4/2013 8:22 PM

Has anyone brought this to the attention of Fox News ?

FloridaPoliceOfficer @ 1/4/2013 8:38 PM

What idiots!
As a recently retired LEO, I am astounded at the political turmoil that is involved with the issue of firearms. All my professional colleagues encourage law abiding citizens to obtain their concealed weapon permit. We are covered by HR 218. It is our responsibility, as Robert Smith wrote (above) to defend our Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment. An armed society is a polite society.

Jim VG @ 1/4/2013 8:42 PM

vixen 63 - Police Officers carry firearms...all the with it.

[email protected] @ 1/4/2013 9:29 PM

vixen 63: So your saying the Officers are "loyal customers"? Sure do say alot about your mindset. I would have informed the "manager" that we would not be back, period. Cover up their weapons? I'm sure there are plenty of other establishments more then willing to have LEOs' take their meals there. Blues, stay safe.

Leonard Mather @ 1/4/2013 9:45 PM

An old Comic Strip had a character in it and his name was Denny Dimwit. This was prior to political correctness when Retards were Retards. Down Syndrome back then was actually correctly referred to as Mongoloid Idiots, currently revised to Down Syndrome. I now know the probable origination of Denny's and it does not surprise me that their egregious misuse of logic would result in asking LEOS to leave. Even the hired help demonstrate an affinity to Denny Dimwit.

Dan Larson @ 1/5/2013 1:13 AM

A few years ago I worked for a security company and negotiated a contract with a Denny's restaurant for our services for Fri-Sat nights. It was the only place in the area open after 2am. I was the Supervisor and was armed as I frequented all of our contracts. They wanted un-armed officers on duty. I had to practically threaten to pull our bid if I wasn't allowed to be inside the building armed! Although these days I carry concealed I am grateful to live in an open carry state and if asked to leave or take my firearm to the vehicle I have a legal standing to challenge the manager if it came down to it. Unless of course it were a posted "Gun Free Zone" AKA "Crime Spree Zone"!

Bert @ 1/5/2013 4:46 AM

Though I am against arbitrary policies, I applaud this Chief for this one. This is yet another situation in the current political arena, where it is (currently) popular to take this action, and say publicly, "See, we have a safe restaurant, No Guns Allowed." What people don't see are the guns hidden on people who don't play by the rules. So, no Mr. Manager, you are not safer, now you don't have any legal guns in your restaurant.

(I'm not advocating, "Guns for everyone," I am merely bringing to light, that where guns are not legally allowed, there are and always will be people who don't follow the rules.)

Let us hope the officrrs of this fine department follow this new policy, and not patronize this establishment.

Ps. I wonder if the officers had been investigating a shooting inside the restaurant, would they have been so graciously allowed to bring their duty weapon?

"Food" for thought.

Stay safe brothers and sisters.

Sotto @ 1/5/2013 4:53 AM

I want to hear the manager's side, I believe there is more to this story

JJ Golliday @ 1/5/2013 6:01 AM

As always; "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Thank God I live in Texas. Retired LEO and Native Texan

Dave Bryant @ 1/5/2013 6:50 AM

Sheepdog spooks sheep because one cought a glimpe of teeth and it conjured up a reminder of a wolf. That scares sheep who would rather not think about it. So the sheepdog must go! Welcome to the new America. It's only going to get worse.

Jake @ 1/5/2013 7:16 AM

More to the story?! What part do YOU think was omitted that would justify a manager asking a cop to store her gun in the car?!

Jana @ 1/5/2013 7:40 AM

I will never step inside another Denny's. Those people can live without the protection of LE. I would much rather be surrounded by detectives with guns while I eat! Thank you LEO's for keeping us safe!

steve burleson @ 1/5/2013 7:45 AM

This is sad, I bet the people that ate at Luby's in Killeen Tx wishes that the police were there when a gunman came in and killed everybody he looked at.

Wayne Hundemann @ 1/5/2013 8:27 AM

Denny's just lost me as a patron.......Until they release a national apology to all LEOs.

Julio Santos @ 1/5/2013 8:38 AM

Personally, I think Denny's service is so slow it is criminal.

Richard @ 1/5/2013 9:03 AM

I wonder if the person carring the firearm was not a LEO, would that STUPID manager have had the nerve to ask them to leave.

eric anderson @ 1/5/2013 10:34 AM

This is the continued saga of the tail wagging the dog, ignorance and a lack of common sense to accommodate the whiner. That same pair of weaklings are those who will cower in their homes while brave Deputies and Officers respond to their call for help. Citizens want it both ways and no one has the sand to tell them they can't. It is becoming clear that it will always be US vs. THEM.

Random @ 1/5/2013 4:11 PM

I can understand certain international company requirement to not carry a fire arm past a certain point. Some have explosive & toxic materials that will do more damage than any one with a gun. These people have specialty guard teams for the job of security that have been investigated using public and private methods. For Denny's this is ridiculous. they don't provide protection of any kind and have not volunteer open to assume any liability. People like this should be held as liable as a guy holding another person to prevent the defense from an unlawful attack.

nurse @ 1/5/2013 5:33 PM

so I won't miss eating at Dennys cuz their food isn't that good anyway! If I was the manager at that Dennys I would have a cop appreciation day once a month when all on duty would eat free!

Frank @ 1/5/2013 8:03 PM

Due to the fact we have had a series of shooting this year my firearm and me are now being placed in the same category as a racist, drunk, cigarette smoker or sexual predator by the liberal elite and politically correct people? I guess being in law enforcement in the 21st century is like having the plague. So Civil War II must be around the corner.

Frank @ 1/5/2013 8:06 PM

So Denny's must have signs posted on their premises regarding firearms. This is a good time to flood Denny's CEO with emails.

Tuigim @ 1/5/2013 8:30 PM

I will be sure to eat at Denny's if it is kept gun free. Good for them! There was no need to apologize. Good for that woman standing up for peace of mind. I can't stand the sight of weapons. It's ugly and dangerous and stupid to have them.
Please realize that the sight of weapons terrorizes people far more than terrorists do. The fact that a police officer has one means the balance of power when talking to an unarmed person is skewed so people are cowed and confidence is lost.
Many countries have police without guns. Ban guns for regular cops. And for the few detectives who may carry them, do not swagger round with them visible. That serves no earthly purpose but to proclaim dominance. Ugh!

JAM @ 1/5/2013 9:02 PM

Tulgim, weapons offend you so much why don't you move to one the countries you are speaking of that carry no weapons. I will help pay your way over there. Your comments are idiotic. I bet if you were being raped or your was being abducted you sure would be happy to see a police officer with a weapon then wouldn't you. Ho crawl back into your hole

TomVA @ 1/5/2013 9:07 PM

RE:Tuigim entire comment. The stupidity reverbating through your comment has left me astounded. As one who has served in the military and as an LEO, you are welcome for your right to your opinion, no matter how moronic it may be.

rfuller @ 1/6/2013 1:09 AM

My weapon,like my badge (and uniform) go together, even if that uniform is a suit and tie! Ignorance of so many things in our society today is the greatest impediment to progress,even when it occurs in eateries or at 'Tuigims ' keyboard ...

Joshua @ 1/6/2013 4:24 AM

What you are saying makes no cents maby your views would be different if you have had someone that you know shot and killed by some shitbag, and the reason that cops have guns is not to intemadate ppl, but to defend YOUR life or there's when you get robed and to my knowledge it was not cops that were trying to enjoy a meal that crashed some plans In to the World Trade Center and they also carry them be wise that is what there boss says they have to do

Bill @ 1/6/2013 5:39 AM

I guess Denny's personnel cannot recall history when four peace officers were assinated in Lakewood, Washington State, on 29 November 2009, while they eating and writing reports at a coffee hourse. They were in uniform at the time of the assinations.
The murdered officers were Lakewood Police Officers Greg Richards, Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens.

edmond brady @ 1/6/2013 7:12 AM

what a clown, most businesses welcome PO's in their place. As a civilian I feel more secure when I see PO's @ any place of business!

Frank @ 1/6/2013 9:20 AM

I beginning to see why this country has turned out this way after reading some of the comments. Tuigim I do not know your ethnic background or the reason why you are even on this site. Your comments are way out of line here.

Jim A @ 1/6/2013 2:04 PM

Good job, Chief. (Bad job, Denny's!!) Like I have said, Liberalism is killing us. Freedom to make any comment you want in any media you want is ok. Other constitution rights (2nd Amendment) is bad. Legalizing gay marriage and marijuana is ok. (I have NOTHING against gays and agree they should have the same rights I do!! I just don't agree with the use of the term "marriage", which is the joining of a man and a woman blessed by God. ) I'm Ok - Your'e Ok and killer video games and movies are fine and dandy. Guns on cops are bad. And in many cases, even people thinking that cops are all bad. What is this world coming to?!

james @ 1/6/2013 2:19 PM

I think everybody should be allowed to open carry not just sworn officers. This way the crime will go down faster than a speeding bullet.

kckiss3101 @ 1/7/2013 12:19 AM

Went to a Denny's two weeks ago with several coworkers, all of us uniformed PO PO. Walking in two cooks loudly, and in front of other customers, said how they hate cops (ex cons - one for a weapon violation) and mentioned the movie super troopers. We left, never going back, Manager apologized and promised to "talk" to the cooks. IHOP is better anyway.

gmhoward @ 1/7/2013 4:57 AM

This is so true of a person who is placed in a limited position of authority, the Denny's manager. How could one be so thoughtless of the patrons as to ask police officers to leave. I will NEVER support Denny's and hope this manager is proud of her actions as she lost all sight of the real world.. I am almost not near so proud to serve as I once was. What do you bet the manager has a criminal record!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan @ 1/7/2013 5:45 AM

Reality is most of us have had "special sauce" added to our food. After 29 years, I really don't want to know. Rumor has it that a neighboring department caught a cook in the process of adding a little something special to their food in the late 70's. Of course in the late 70's the issue was addressed without any written documentation.

Bill @ 1/7/2013 6:13 AM

I may want to rob this place, "hey manager, kick out those cops!" ......sweet nectar. @ least now everyone in the area knows there won't be any cops there at all.... best of luck tools.

El Hefe @ 1/7/2013 7:56 AM

How dumb--Denny's doesn't "permit" police to carry their guns there, the state laws do regardless of Denny's stance on it. If Denny's doesn't want our business then so be it. But Chief Clay gets the award for his coining "Political Stupidity"! It's no longer "PC" in my lexicon--it's now "PS" and I can't wait to be asked what that means!

jana @ 1/7/2013 9:14 AM

I know that if I had a cafe or resturant the police would get to set at the head of the table! I thank ALL of you for everything you do for me and everyone else, even the morons!!!!!

John Carp @ 1/7/2013 4:31 PM

So, Vixen 63, Soto and Tuigim I thought this a Law Enforcement site? I'd have thought that this was a political science forum at a junior college, by your colective remarks! Racism? As Letterman says; "Things that make you go Hmmmmmm" Okay, so the afore mentioned authors....go back to your Grateful Dead 8-tracks and water pipes.....and to the rest of us.....The Wafflehouse, Bob Evans and Ihop have no such political notions. Good, good, good for Chief Clay!

Kelly @ 1/7/2013 7:00 PM

You know why they call it "Common Sense"? Because everyone's supposed to have it! Someone in Denny's doesn't have it.

RAMONA @ 1/8/2013 7:30 PM

I'll no longer eat at Danny's...this is sickening!!

Ofc Murph @ 1/9/2013 4:53 AM

Why is it in this day and age that the complaint of one out weighs everything else? One person says, "I don't like that." or some idiot does something stupid and all the sudden we have colored wrist band to acknowledge it and to have some giant movement. Stupidity! And the 'stupid' seems to be spreading throughout all of the USofA.

You know what I call it when things don't go my way and I have to bend a little??? Life. I call it life.

Hawaii 5-0 @ 1/9/2013 11:10 AM

When it comes to Denny's, they are an equal opportunity employer. I have walked into a Dennys (many years ago) and the cooking staff behind the window are all people either wanted, previously arrested, or ex-cons trying "to start all over". I would never eat a thing that these cooks cook for me due to that "special sauce". Plus, come on...seriously, the food sucks there. And as for those three complete idiots exercising their right to free speech, and while doing so, is showing their complete moronic IQ, I so wish I could be around the day you folks need the help of an officer, because that day WILL come. I have found that people who don't like police or LEO normally have a reason; if they they are not crooks, they probably got a tag and if thats mot the case, their parents were/did and raised them to fear and/or hate cops. Here's a thought, raise your kids the same way so when yhey need help, they DON'T call also. Anyway, shoots, I didn't know LEOs still went to Denny's Restaurants anyway. Good job to the Belleville Police Chief. Its always goid to see a leader of an agency actually support and lead their agency.

Mark Stulpe @ 1/9/2013 11:57 AM

No surprise there. We have become the most divisive and PC society in history. Thanks to the "leader" of our country. He has lied and finagled his agenda to the public in so many ways. The only ones that benefit are the ones that say "gimmee" everything free. But he told us that he was going to "fundamentaly change the country" and he is doing it. But the unaware and the uninformed voted him back into office. It's too bad that the rest of us that knew better will suffer for it. Good luck paying for The "free health care"

Kb @ 1/11/2013 8:01 AM

Who cares. I work in the restaurant industry. Officers can carry guns. It's not that big of a deal if the one in their holster is left in the car; they still have one strapped to their ankle. It's basically just a pride thing. An officer without his gun is just a normal human being. If that officer was left in the hood for a couple of hours with no gun he'd be in for it. I absolutely can't stand police officers. Their slogan is to serve and protect not bitch and moan, although it probably should be. And I'm tired of officers bending simple laws. I can't tell you how many times in the past week I've seen pigs at a stoplight, wait for 10 seconds, then flip their lights on and go through the light. Or simply changing lanes with no turn signals. Bottom line, if a resturant employee asks you to take your gun to the car, just do it, and don't call corporate and complain. It just makes pigs fit the stereotype even more of a high school loser with a little bit of power. That's the end of my rant. F-The PoPo

K9CREO @ 1/22/2013 3:59 PM

Ban Denny's!

7A35 @ 1/27/2013 12:08 AM

*This is a response to 'Kb'.
I am a veteran of two major police departments. I do not run red lights. I don't ask for or accept gratuity. I lock my gun in my locker and I do not carry a weapon off duty. I don't carry a gun because I don't need one when I am not working. I ride a bicycle to work when the weather permits; otherwise I ride the subway. I don't eat when I am working. I don't socialize with other police off duty. I don't eat at Denny's because I am not comfortable with ex-convicts preparing my food. My reluctance to eat at Denny's developed long before I became a police officer.
I acknowledge that some police perpetuate certain stereotypes but people's irrational ire directed at police is often misdirected. I wish I could take Americans to some of the countries I have deployed to as a Marine and Soldier. In many of the countries I have served in the police can openly shake a citizen down for money with no fear of punishment. When I was a Marine, Mexican police shook me down for the $200.00 I had on me at the time. I witnessed Iraqi 'police' do barbaric acts and was told not to act due to 'cultural differences'. Americans have no idea how good their standard of living is.
Insinuating that most police are former high school losers is as absurd as someone stating that all people who complain about police are habitual law-breakers. It is a self-serving stereotype used to elevate one's self over others.

Tribal Touch @ 6/29/2013 7:05 PM


I am a 12 year veteran street kid. And I have to say that I once thought just like KB, but then I met officers like you, ones who truly care about helping and being of service to the community. So thank you for breaking the stereotype 7A35.

P.s. I'm 66 hours from a certification in massage, and hopefuply this time next year I will be a business owner and in my own place, thanks to the help of genuine people.

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