Two police departments in different states have the same idea about getting into the holiday spirit, pulling over unsuspecting drivers to hand them Target gift cards instead of tickets.
Officers in Florissant, Missouri, randomly pulled over drivers to issue them "summonses of joy," instead of tickets, according to KSDK.
"And along with that summons of joy comes a $100 gift card to Target," Sgt. Andy Haarmann told the drivers he stopped, many of whom looked shocked.
The drivers' reactions ranged from incredulous to incredibly thankful. Some couldn't believe they weren't in trouble.
"Are you kidding me?" one driver exclaimed.
"You aren't coming to arrest me are you?" another asked.
But others immediately understood the officers' good-spirited intentions, thanking them profusely.
"Hope you have a good holiday," one citizen told an officer. "You made mine."
This is the third consecutive year the Florissant Police Department has issued "summonses of joy." This year, the department has 98 gift cards to hand out, the most they've ever had.
All of the money for the gift cards was donated by local churches.
The Novi Police Department in Michigan has had a similar campaign for the past three years, according to WWJ. Officers will stop drivers who committed minor traffic infractions and issue them a warning and a $25 Target gift card.
"[It’s] a great way for our police officers to interact with the community for those people that they find; whether it’s on a traffic stop, or just coming across a normal complaint or a suspicious person," said Novi Police Chief David Molloy. "If they find someone in need they’re going to try to help them out, make their holiday season a little brighter."
The officers choose who they want to issue a gift card to. Molloy recounted one story in which an officer chose to hand out a gift card to a woman who had just left the hospital.
"One of the officers found an individual who had just left the hospital and she was sitting in a local coffee shop," Molloy recounted. "He thought she looked a little down on her luck, and she was, she had a few bills due around this holiday season. And took advantage and gave her a $25 gift card which certainly brightened her night."
Molloy said the program is a way to spread holiday cheer and build up trust between the department and the citizens they serve. All of the money for the gift cards is donated by local family restaurant Moe's on Ten.
"All we really ask of the individual is that the officer takes a selfie with the person, them showing the gift card," he said. "We’re able to share that on social media to help spread that kindness again in another fashion."