Editor's note: The following commentary first appeared on the Denison, Texas Police Department's Facebook page.
The Denison Police Department enjoys
great support from most of our community and our businesses. I get it,
especially with the anti-police rhetoric from the national media and
police-hate groups we see in the country, that many people buy into that
rhetoric and dislike police. Most of those that I have come across in
my career that hate cops are very familiar with us because many have a
lengthy history of arrests or have friends or family members with such a
history. I get all this and we get used to it for the most part.
But when two of my officers were refused service by an employee
of a local restaurant on October 14 just after midnight, then cursed by
that employee and the on-duty manager’s only response is, “I don’t get
into politics,” that concerns me.
If a business does not want police officers as
customers, just let us know. There’s no need to curse us and make a
scene, just let us know you don’t want us there and we’ll go somewhere
Now going somewhere else in Denison in the middle of
the night is not easy because our officers don’t have many options. What
really gets my goat with such an incident is that while most of us are
sleeping – sleeping! -- the officers are out there working hard to keep
us safe and when trying to take a break to eat – they face this type of
reception from an employee of a local business and management calls it
“politics”? The employee also said she would continue to refuse to serve
Now we know. And rest assured officers will no longer
patronize this business. Many of the officers also fear food-tampering
with an attitude like this from such an employee.
As we most always try to do when there is a conflict, a
police supervisor went to the restaurant and asked to speak to the
employee in an effort to understand why she felt the way she did toward
The employee alleged “cops beat up my boyfriend and are racists.”
When questioned further, the employee said her boyfriend was “beat up” when arrested by DPD a few weeks ago.
The police supervisor went to the station and found the
documentation of the arrest, then reviewed the video or audio of the
arrest from the arresting officer’s dash cam.
It was a “routine” arrest. There was no physical altercation and no one [was] injured.
So the employee was simply lying about her boyfriend getting “beat up” by police.
I’ve seen similar service refusal stories like this around the state and country but never thought we’d see it locally.
Yet, while disappointing that this one business takes
or supports such an anti-police stance, we relish in the fact the
majority of the Denison businesses and citizens we serve greatly support
us and what we do to try to keep our community safe.
Oh, one last thing -- Even though this one business
accepts employees that refuse to serve and then curse cops, I guarantee
you when they call 911 and need us, we’ll come running.
That’s what cops do.
Jay Burch is chief of the Denison Police Department in Denison, Texas.