BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - The manager of a Denny's that asked a group of detectives to leave the restaurant because one of their weapons was making a customer uncomfortable is offering free food to police officers.
Police say the five on-duty detectives with visible badges were eating at the restaurant on South Illinois Street Tuesday when the manager asked one of the detectives to either put her gun in the car or leave.
The detectives chose to leave.
Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay then told his officers not to go to Denny's unless they are responding to an emergency.
Denny's released a statement saying they do not permit firearms inside the restaurant but then determined the weapon belonged to a plain-clothed officer. They do allow law enforcement officials to carry their weapons inside the restaurant.
The manager of that restaurant has now decided to offer free meals to police officers on Friday.
The free meals will be offered from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. at 1130 South Illinois Street.
Capt. Donald Sax with the Belleville Police Department says on Thursday Van Catchings, Director of Company Operations for Denny's, met with members of the police department to talk about the situation.
He says Catchings apologized for the actions taken by the restaurant and that the actions were inconsistent with Denny's corporate policy.
Chief Clay then lifted the ban on officers taking meal or coffee breaks at the restaurant and released the following statement:
"I am a fan of 'Social Media'; I use it and rely upon it often. This same technology sometimes puts an issue in the public domain that should be resolved in private face to face meetings. Denny's on South Illinois is a Belleville business. They pay sales tax and provide employment for many Belleville residents. I have patronized Denny's in the past and will continue to do so in the future. I harbor no grudges! This was an unfortunate incident by an individual employee; it has been made right."