Should police get free coffee? A question in Warren

coffee

coffee

A Warren Police Department spokesman said police officers are not allowed to accept gratuities of any kind, after a woman visiting the East Bay saw an officer accept a free cup at a convenience store last Thursday.

The woman, who said she was visiting relatives in Barrington, stopped at the Cumberland Farms store near the East Bay Bike Path on Thursday, July 17. While waiting in line she saw a uniformed Warren police officer pour a cup of coffee and leave the store without paying for it.

“When I asked the manager about this, he said that Cumberland Farms stores has a long-standing store policy of giving free coffee to all police officers in uniform as well as corrections officers,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Warren Times-Gazette. “I was surprised by this. I know in New York City police are not permitted to do this, and that most police departments don’t allow this because they say it’s a slippery slope from accepting free coffee to payments. Every article I’ve read on this says it’s wrong.”

On Monday, Warren Police Department spokesman Lt. Roland Brule said that if the officer did accept coffee, he broke department policy. He said the Warren Police Department has a written policy that forbids officers from accepting gratuities of any kind, including coffee.

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14 Comments

  1. Larry Skelton said:

    I absolutely see no reason that a police officer cannot take a free cup of coffee from a local business. There is no ‘slippery slope’ here. The women that complained is just a yuppie idiot.

    • Robert Davis said:

      Can you not read? It’s against department policy to do so. I realize you’re just posting opinion here but to call the “women” (sic) a “yuppie idiot” shows what a little being you are.

    • Robert Davis said:

      Can you not read? It’s against department policy to do so. I realize you’re just posting opinion here but to call the “women” (sic) a “yuppie idiot” shows what a little being you are.

  2. CM said:

    Yes, this is a slippery slope. Police should not be accepting freebies from anyone. It gives them the impression that they are more important than other people, but they aren’t. The average salary for a cop in Warren is probably higher than the average salary of other Warren residents; they can afford to pay for their coffee.

    The woman is wrong that this isn’t going on in New York City. Years ago, after the “pay-for-protection” scandals supposedly ended freebies for the police, I was on line at a fast-food restaurant in NYC, and the cop in front of me got a free breakfast sandwich.

      • LH said:

        CM Really? Just because you don’t see the details of every call in the paper, that has a habit of reporting things before getting any facts (ie Warren officer takes woman down at gunpoint, when actually he was taking out his FLASHLIGHT to search her home and HELP her son) doesn’t mean they are not in harms way every single day. If you think it’s so easy why don’t you try doing what they do? Working all holidays and weekends 24/7, having to cancel plans constantly because they are called into work, missing family because you are busy protecting someone else’s. And the high pay, that’s a load of crap – these guys make $40k base and anything else is either forced OT or details requested by the town or private companies, again to protect YOU. So before you go an bash a hard working group of incredible individuals, why don’t you get your facts straight. These guys should be able to accept a $2 cup of coffee from someone who appreciates their service, who appreciates their presence in their establishment to maybe, oh I don’t know, deter the scumbags who usually frequent the spot. Granted, the officer shouldn’t have accepted the coffee as the policy states they can’t, but frankly your ignorant comment is offensive.

        • CM said:

          I’ll admit that my view of the police is somewhat negative, but there are reasons for that. Despite the fact that I’ve never had any altercations with the police or been arrested, I’ve been treated poorly by the police on many occasions (I’m referring to all police, not just Warren police). A lot of cops are egotistical SOB’s who think they are special because they have a badge. I was also living in NYC when the whole “pay-for-protection” scandal occurred, when it was uncovered that the police were getting all kinds of favors from businesses. I’ve also read or seen dozens of news stories over the years about police misconduct. It is absolutely essential that no cop should feel that he is “special” or that he is above the law (or department regulations). As for their pay, Warren police can make up to $100,000 with overtime. I, on the otherhand, make $18,000 per year. Believe me, the police can afford to pay for their coffee.

      • Mary Ellen Benevides said:

        No police job is easy, they never know what they are walking into. I don’t think they get paid enough! Of course there are egotistical ones, I’ve met them, there is in every walk of life! To lump them all together is a mistake on your part!

  3. KeithC said:

    Good cops, good people, in a good community getting a cup of coffee on the house once in a while? Sure why not. It’s the owner’s call and police should be happy to accept it as a symbol of respect.

  4. Potholes said:

    I’m wondering how come fire fighters can’t get free coffee also? In Warren and Bristol our fire fighters VOLUNTEER their time to save lives, so they’re not even getting paid like the police and correctional officers. Yes fire fighters respond to emergencies on holidays, weekends, vacations, even at 3 am just like police yet they VOLUNTEER to do so 24/7 and they don’t ask for anything in return. So whoever is saying police are protecting us and making base pay yes you’re absolutely right but remember firefighters are VOLUNTEERING to save your life, not making 40k base pay plus overtime.

    • CM said:

      Agreed. If a cop gets a perk, a fireman should get it too. However, firemen don’t generally walk around in their uniforms. They go directly from the station to the fire and then back again, and then they get out of their geer.

  5. GoodbytoRI said:

    to everyone that commented, yes or no, don’t you think it is up to the store owner or manager if he chooses to give a free cup of coffee, if he chooses not to accept money from the officer for a cup of coffee that is his/her choice to do so. And really it is nobody’s business otherwise, we worry about the most stupid things.

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