Police department hands out gifts instead of tickets
(12/18/18) - Just in time for Christmas an Isabella County police chief is showing the community protecting and serving doesn't always mean writing tickets.
Shepherd Police Chief Luke Sawyer's Christmas mission actually started about a month ago with a visit from a community member. "He handed me a sum of money and said, 'hey here's my vision for this. Wouldn't it be so awesome if you could just pull over cars and hand them some money and say, hey Merry Christmas'," Sawyer explained.
Sawyer said it was something he'd seen other departments do, so when given the chance, he got to work.
Tuesday he pulled over person after person and asked the same question first.
"Any idea why you think I'm pulling you guys over," Sawyer asked two men.
He got the same response on nearly every stop. They didn't have any idea why they had been pulled over.
"I didn't think I was speeding, used my blinker, wearing my seatbelt. So I wasn't sure," said Melissa Holliday.
None of the people are on this year's naughty list, instead they are on the nice list.
"For the most part we want to reward people for doing good things," Sawyer said. "It's not life changing money, it's not a life changing gift, but you never know when it's just a little something that gets a person over the hump of Christmas."
Along with the first community member who donated money, a few other people and businesses pitched in.
Those who received the unexpected gift instead of a ticket were genuinely surprised
"My Christmas is definitely merrier for it," said Chris Hunt.
Chief Sawyer said sometimes spreading holiday cheer is what protecting and serving truly means.
"I've actually been following them on Facebook a lot lately, and it's really nice. I love this community and I've only been around here for a few years, but it's nice," said Andrea Bright.
Chief Sawyer has more envelopes to give out so be sure to stay on the nice list.