The law enforcement community in Bowling Green, Kentucky is outraged that one of their armed officers was turned away from a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.
An employee at the family friendly chain apparently refused to let the officer in the restaurant because she was carrying her weapon, and was not in uniform.
This case now has many asking, what is considered a uniform? The officer was wearing a marked police polo shirt, said Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle.
“I’ve seen Bowling Green officers in polos many times in my history working in law enforcement, and obviously I recognize that person as a sworn employee,” Doyle told WBKO.
Kentucky state law allows businesses to post “No Firearms” signs on their doors and windows, but also allows officers to carry anywhere in the state, except for federal buildings.
Doyle says, “I was upset, I was shocked for that officer and also for all the patrons there because you know if you have an obvious police officer and they’re wearing police clothing, then I don’t understand what the problem would be…. everybody needs to understand that somebody who is trained and qualified to carry a weapon, they’re there to help people.”
But the establishment says this was just a situation where a poorly-trained employee just misinterpreted the restaurant’s policy. Doyle said there should have been a manager on site who clearly understood that policy.
According to Chuck E. Cheese’s national headquarters, the Bowling Green incident was just a misunderstanding: “Our firearms policy does not apply to officers in uniform. We do have a firearms policy for civilians and off duty non-uniformed officers, but officers in uniform are always welcome to bring in their firearms.”
However, Doyle takes issue with that statement too. He says Kentucky State Law permits police officers to carry their weapon in most locations regardless of whether they are on duty or not.
Despite the frustration over the recent incident, Doyle said he still plans to take his family to Chuck E. Cheese’s, which he described as a “great establishment that’s been around a long time.”