On-duty officers ordered to remove weapons or leave Illinois restaurantPosted: Updated:
Five on-duty, plain clothed detectives who stopped for a bite at a local Denny's in the town of Belleville, IL, didn't get their food. Instead, they got asked to leave.
According to Belleville Police Captain Don Sax, the manager approached the detectives after a customer noticed one of the officers had a gun.
Sax says the officers identified themselves, but the manager told them they had to take their service weapons outside and lock them in their cars or leave.
Witnesses said a second manager did step in and tell the officers they could stay, advising the other manager "they are police officers, it's OK." But the detectives decided they had been harassed and embarrassed enough and left.
The Belleville Police Chief has now told officers they cannot go to Denny's while on duty unless they are responding to a call for service.
Several customers of the restaurant have been reacting to the managers actions, including one who said, "How do you tell a police office who's on duty ... you can't carry the tool of your trade in the business, but we'll let in anyone else, any sex offenders, any pedophiles, anybody else comes in unchecked."
In addition, people have been taking to the restaurant chain's Facebook page to react.
Denny's has since issued an apology and released a statement saying in part "Denny's policy permits law enforcement officials to carry their firearms in the restaurant, and we regret any misunderstanding."
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). CNN contributed to this report. All rights reserved.