Over the years, the upstanding reputation of police officers and law enforcement, in general, has been dramatically diminished. In part, this is due to the lack of morals, values, and standards of a few bad seeds within the department. As with any profession, there are always a few people who decide they don’t have to follow the rules and abuse their power or privilege by preying on others.
Sadly, those negatively affected by such immoral behavior are prone to assuming that all officers or everyone in a similar profession are ‘dirty’ and do not deserve our respect. And even sadder still, this unfair belief is often spread quickly throughout communities where lives have been lost or ruined as a result of one ill-minded police officer or representative.
And instances that involve race only add to this. Far too often it has been the case of white cops taking on a person or group of color. And no matter how unlawful that individual or group is acting, the fault is somehow given to the police officers only trying to do their jobs. They are called racist pigs, bigots, and worse just for attempting to enforce the laws that a community and government put in place to keep the peace and maintain safety for all citizens.
No, not all cases maintain innocence on the part of the officers involved. And yes, some of that bad reputation is well deserved for specific individuals.
But for the most part, these men and women have taken an oath to serve our communities and our nation with honor, regardless of the danger it puts them in daily or what kind of criminals they may encounter.
And it’s nice to see companies that agree with this and stand up for police officers when they can.
That is precisely what happened in a North Carolina fast-food restaurant this week.
Sgt. Kenneth Horton, a Roxboro, North Carolina police officer and Army veteran choose to eat at Cook Out, a fast-food eatery known for their burgers and unusual sides, such as quesadillas, corn dogs, and chicken nuggets.
However, when he approached the counter in uniform to order, the cashier flat out refused to serve him.
The locations manager put a quick end to the employee’s bad behavior and fired her. But when news spread that she had been fired for her actions, the situation only escalated, with the police department being accused of being responsible for her firing.
The Roxboro department was forced to defend themselves and make a public statement on the matter.
Police Chief David Hess told WTVD, “We’re saddened that an employee denied service to a police officer. We promote unity.” However, the police chief went on to say that the department had no say in how the restaurant handled the incident, nor did they even report it to the restaurant’s management.
Hess insisted that the decision to fire the cashier was made by the restaurant’s chain of command.
But not only did the restaurant fire the cashier, but they also fired the location manager on duty, saying that the situation could have been handled differently.
The manager explained that the cashier had other options than to simply refuse the officer service. For one, they could have asked another cashier to help him.
However, this explanation wasn’t good enough for upper management. The boss said that the manager on duty should have taken the situation under control and offered to serve the officer herself. The fired manager told WTVD, “He told me that I should have went outside and got the officer’s attention and offer to take his order.”
Police Chief Hess incited that maybe things had gone a little too far in firing the manager, but there was nothing he could do. He said, “Unfortunately, it’s all because of a small action that could have been avoided.”
The restaurant has since made a concentrated effort to promote police and veteran relations. They posted a heartfelt tweet on Veteran’s Day to show their support of armed forces and first responders.
And with this continued support and their swift action to defend police officers, it’s unlikely that any anti-cop behavior will take place in their restaurants for quite a while.