Kay Jewelers has fired a North Carolina store manager who barred a deputy from picking up his engagement ring because the uniformed officer had a gun in his holster.
“The store manager is no longer employed by the company,” Kay Jewelers posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon.
The manager of the store in Statesville wouldn’t let the deputy enter even after the deputy explained that it’s against policy for officers to remove their service weapons while in uniform, Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell posted on Facebook Wednesday.
The deputy also told the manager that his marked patrol car was in the parking lot, according to the sheriff, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.
Campbell posted that he and his office “are deeply saddened” by what happened to the deputy on Tuesday.
“This policy is in place for not only the safety of the deputy, but the general public as well,” the sheriff said in his post Wednesday afternoon. “The manager stated our deputy would need to return to the store at a different time when he was not armed. The deputy left the store, without the ring he had purchased.”
By Thursday afternoon, Campbell’s post had drawn 11,000 likes, 8,600 shares and 9,000 comments, overwhelmingly in support of his remarks.
Kay Jewelers replied to the sheriff’s post on Wednesday, saying the company “sincerely apologized for the mishandling of this matter.”
Company officials said in Wednesday’s reply to the sheriff’s post that they “reached out immediately to the customer and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office” after learning what happened.
“Our policy is that any member of law enforcement is always welcomed in our store at any time, as a customer or in an official capacity,” company officials said in the reply post. “We have tremendous respect for and closely work with law enforcement at all levels, and we thank the (Sheriff’s) Office for bringing this to our attention.
“We are reinforcing store training regarding all of our Customer First policies, as well as specific policies related to law enforcement, in all of our stores,” the company posted.