While a West Hartford Police officer was waiting in line Saturday morning, an employee of Dunkin’ Donuts at 1234 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford commented that they ‘don’t serve cops here.’
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove said that he is proud of the way his officer reacted when an employee at a West Hartford Dunkin’ Donuts made a statement Saturday morning that the shop doesn’t serve police officers.
The incident has sparked a firestorm of comments on many news media online postings, and the chief said he will be meeting with the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner on Monday to figure out what will happen next.
“I’m proud of the way our officer handled the situation and grateful to Dunkin Donuts for their prompt response. Police officers face insults on a regular basis and we all strive to face them with professionalism. That’s exactly what happened here,” West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove said Sunday.
According to a police report, the officer went to the Dunkin’ Donuts at approximately 8:30 a.m. Saturday to purchase a cup of coffee. The officer was waiting in line behind numerous other patrons when, according to police, an employee “looked over at him and stated very loudly, ‘he didn’t get the message, we don’t serve cops here.”
The officer immediately left the store without saying anything and as he was returning to his cruiser was approached by the manager as well as the employee, who apologized and said that her comment was a joke. According to the police report, the officer told the employee that rather than apologize to him, she should apologize to the other customers “who appeared to take offense to her comment.”
The employee complied, and offered a free coffee to the officer, which he refused stating that he would go to a different store.
A substitute district manager who declined to give his name was on duty at the 1234 Farmington Ave. shop on Sunday morning. He said that he did not have any information about what, if any, repercussions the employee would face. “The franchise has been in contact with the police department, and is very apologetic,” he said, adding that he heard the comment was intended as “a joke.”
Dunkin’ Donuts has issued the following official statement regarding the incident: “We are aware of the situation at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1234 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford. The crew member exhibited poor judgment and apologized immediately to the police officer. The franchise owner, a long-time supporter of local police, has also reached out to apologize on behalf of the restaurant. Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all guests.”
“They’re still working on the remedy,” West Hartford Police Lt. Christopher Chappell said Sunday morning.
Gove said that he plans to meet with the franchise owner to discuss the situation before making any additional comments. “I’ve spoken with the officer involved for his perspective on the incident and will meet with the Dunkin franchise managers on Monday. I believe its important to touch base with everyone involved so we have a mutual understanding of what took place and how to best move forward.”
Connecticut State Police issued the following Tweet early Sunday morning, along with a photo of an officer at a Dunkin’ Donuts store: “Despite the actions of 1, we know our friends @DunkinDonuts support us.”
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