The following statement was released by the Belleville Police Department Thursday afternoon regarding the Denny's Restaurant situation:
On January 3, 2013, Mr. Van Catchings, Director of Company Operations for Denny's met with administration staff members of the Police Department. Mr. Catchings requested the meeting to discuss the situation that occurred at the Denny's restaurant in Belleville on January 1, 2013.
Mr. Catchings was sincerely apologetic for the actions taken by Restaurant Management. Mr. Catchings conveyed these actions were inconsistent with Denny's corporate policy which welcomes any law enforcement officer to carry their weapon while inside their restaurants.
Mayor Eckert and Chief Clay are appreciative of Denny's timely request to meet with police department staff to resolve this matter. They are both pleased and are satisfied with Denny's response.
The order by Chief Clay banning Officers of the Belleville Police Department from taking meal or coffee breaks at the Belleville Denny's location is lifted immediately.
The following is a statement from Chief Clay.
"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."