Growing up I was always taught to respect police officers, not to fear them. Seeing a cop on the streets made me want to be that person, not avoid them or be frightened of them. Law enforcement officers have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. At any moment, their lives could be in grave danger, yet they put their lives on the line to protect the people they serve, many of whom have absolutely no respect for their authority.
Yes there are bad cops, and yes there’s been a handful of events taking place as of late which may make some individuals question their honestly and integrity. With that said, for every one police officer abusing his/her authority, there are 1,000 officers who go above and beyond to protect and serve our communities. It’s really too bad that many of these good cops get stereotyped because of a few bad incidents and media sensationalism.
One example comes to us from Lewisville, Texas, where two police officers, Michael Magovern and Cameron Beckham, were working off-duty security for a construction site. They got hungry and decided to stop into a Whataburger fast food restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat. To their amazement, when they went up to the counter to order their food, the employee at the front told them that they do not serve police.
“He said it with a straight face, no smile, and just stared at us,” said Magovern, who works for the Strawn City Marshal’s Office. “Even if he was joking, I’m not going to eat here because I don’t trust that.”
Both Magovern and Beckham were amazed at the comment and they left the Whataburger without any food. When the story broke about this incident, Whataburger’s corporate office swiftly responded with action and a statement:
“We were appalled to hear of an employee refusing service to two officers, as we have proudly served first responders across our system for decades. As soon as we heard of this isolated incident, we began our own internal investigation overnight. The employee that refused service is no longer employed with Whataburger. We’ve also invited the officers back today so we can apologize in person and make this right.”
Magovern and Beckham seem to understand that this was an issue that likely was outside the corporation’s control, and was an individual’s actions rather than something that should reflect upon the Whataburger brand.
“We are all on the same page, that this is not what Whataburger is about in any shape or form,” Magovern said. “People make mistakes. Maybe he can get retrained.”
For those unfamiliar with the fast food chain, Whataburger is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, and has restaurants located primarily in the Southern U.S. As of 2012 they had a total of 735 stores nationwide and over 22,500 employees.