West Hartford, CT– The owner of a West Hartford Dunkin Donuts met with the police chief on Monday after an employee refused service to a police officer. However, the employee claimed she was joking when she said “we don’t serve cops here.”
The store owner of the Farmington Avenue location spoke out about the incident on Monday. However, this weekend’s incident in Connecticut isn’t the first time the company has been under fire.
Over the weekend, West Hartford police said an officer went inside the Dunkin Donuts on Farmington Avenue to get a cup of coffee, but was told by an employee as he stood in line, “we don’t serve cops here.”
The officer left the store. The employee ran out saying she was joking and apologized to the officer.
West Hartford Police Chief Tracey G. Gove posted a statement on the police’s Facebook page that stated they were thankful for the “overwhelming support shown to our officer and agency over the past two days.”
“As I stated in my comments yesterday, I’m proud of the way our officer handled this situation and I am grateful to Dunkin Donuts for its prompt response,” Gove said.
One person even offered to buy the officer a cup of coffee just after the employee’s statement.
The regional franchise president met with the Gove and Ast. Chief Daniel Copping on Monday.
“They had a mutual understanding and respect for each other,” West Hartford Police Lt. Ted Stoneburner said. “They are very supportive of the police department and we are very supportive of them. It was a very good meeting.”
The store’s owner released a statement on the meeting as well.
“We have completed a very productive meeting with the Chief and Assistant Chief of the West Hartford Police Department. We have apologized for this isolated and unfortunate incident. Dunkin’ Donuts firmly respects and fully supports the West Hartford police. We look forward to our continued positive relationship with all of the officers in town,” the statement read.
The store employee has been suspended for her actions.
Gove said, during the meeting, regional franchise president for Dunkin Donuts apologized for the incident.
“He listened intently as we conveyed our concerns and the concerns of our officers. It was clear after our meeting that police officers are more than welcome in Dunkin Donuts,” Gove said.
Though Gove said he was “troubled” by the incident, he said he believed “the quick apology by the employee, manager and the President was the proper way to handle the matter.’
“This situation is an important reminder that we all need to be conscious and aware of the words we use. Just as we hope the public will not judge all police officers by an individual’s error, I believe we must extend the same degree of respect to Dunkin and its employees who go to work every day to make ends meet,” Gove said.
Dunkin Donuts is also apologizing after a Rhode Island employee wrote “black-lives-matter” on a police officer’s coffee cup.
Many customers who get their cup of Joe said they were shocked to hear what happened Saturday morning.
“I read it. I questioned it. I thought it was a joke,” Marc Rapport, of West Hartford, said. “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say with a store full of people, we don’t serve cops.”