Officers show appreciation to Southside Flying Pizza

It was a busy lunch-hour on Monday for Southside Flying Pizza on Cesar Chavez.  Law enforcement from Austin and beyond came in to send a message of appreciation by eating the famous Southside pies.

"This sort of happened naturally.  We decided that we wanted to come back so we invited officers to come back and eat here today with us," said Andrew Romero, Vice President of the Austin Police Association.

This weekend an Austin Police Officer posted on Facebook about his experience at the restaurant when he came in on Saturday.

READ: Southside Flying Pizza fires employee who wrote anti-police receipt
He says he was treated poorly and his receipt said "pig" -- along with some other terms.
Southside Flying Pizza District Manager David Hatley told FOX 7 on Sunday they dealt with the rogue employee quickly.

"Obviously we're deeply appalled by the incident and that employee has been let go...we've already donated a combined $1,000 to a police memorial fund," Hatley said.

That swift action was really appreciated by local law enforcement.

"I've eaten here numerous times over the years at the South Congress location.  They've always been 100% supportive of law enforcement.  And that stands true today," said Sgt. Anthony Hipolito with APD.

As Romero points out, officers have to think carefully about where to spend their lunch break during a 10-hour shift.

"Because of the kind of work that we do, we aren't able to go home and eat with our families in the evenings.  So officers do rely on restaurants on a daily basis.  So it did kind of hit home that their food might not be secure.  But I feel confident that this business is a safe place to eat," Romero said.

"You try to watch the preparation of food if possible.  You go to friendly environments.  You go to where you know they're ‘cop-friendly’ is what they say," said new Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.

Chody drove in from Georgetown to show his support for the restaurant.

"There are people who still I think are sharing that photo who don't understand what the end result was which is a positive for law enforcement  and I want to make sure that word gets out too," Chody said.

Romero insisted on picking up the tab for the officers' pizza.  Hatley says police, fire, EMS and military get a 25% discount.  They've been doing it for years and that won't change anytime soon.

"It's unfortunate that these days police officers are looked at negatively as a whole because of the actions of a few.  And it was important today for us to come out and show support for this business.  But also, maybe we should start a conversation about not judging an entire group by the actions of an individual," Romero said.

Romero says officers who couldn't come Monday will be showing their support at the restaurant later in the week.

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