I have the privilege of serving in full-time LE. For me, the question is moot; when I'm on duty, I NEVER eat in public. I take all of my meal breaks [all 30 minutes of it
] at the station. The main reason for this is, I learned early on that an officer eating in public is a "question magnet". Manners are dying these days; people think nothing of interrupting a LEO's meal break. Now, don't get me wrong, if an emergency comes up, food is forgotten, and everybody on duty rolls out. On the other hand, trying to hurriedly eat your lunch before the next call comes out is bad enough. Having some thoughtless jerk come up and needlessly interrupt your meal with "Can you recommend a good attorney?" is worse. Having said that, I'll throw in my 2 cents: Even in a group, at least a few LEOs at the table should be eyeing the door. Remember that group of officers sitting at a restaurant table a few years ago who all ended up being gunned down?