City of Lowell/YouTube

Have You Seen This? Police hand out presents, not tickets

By Ed Payne, CNN | Posted - Dec. 10, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.


5 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LOWELL, Michigan (CNN) — What if police gave out presents instead of traffic tickets. That would be a nice trick ... or maybe an alternate reality.

Actually, it was a stunt for UPtv, a cable channel committed to uplifting entertainment.

The family friendly cable channel pulled off the stunt in late November with the help of the Lowell Police Department in Michigan.

Officer Scot VanSolkema stopped unsuspecting drivers for minor traffic violations then chatted them up about what their family would like for Christmas.

"Got all your Christmas shopping done?" he asked one woman as she pulled out her proof of insurance and registration.

"No, I haven't even started," she answered before telling VanSolkema what her daughter and son were asking for.

Listening in were Santa's helpers with UPtv, who quickly dashed about a local store buying, wrapping and delivering the presents to the traffic stop within 15 minutes.

Surprise!

"Oh my God, can I hug you?"

Related Story

So, on and on it went, 50 drivers in all, according to CNN affiliate WZZM. VanSolkema handed out some 30 presents worth about $7,000 — and no tickets.

Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala said you can learn a lot about somebody in just a few minutes.

"Most of the contact the police officers have with the general public is on a traffic stop, and you can find a lot out about that person in that 10 to 15 minute window, whether they're having a good day, a bad day, or a horrible day," he said.

"And then we got this idea: What if we could change that person's day in real time? What if we could change that person's day right now?"

Copyright 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Photos

Related Stories

Ed Payne

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast