CHESAPEAKE, Va. — No driver likes to get pulled over, but the sight of flashing blue lights brightened someone’s afternoon, just ahead of the weekend.
Instead of tickets, the Chesapeake Police Department handed out holiday cheer!
"This is just something to let them know and understand that we are human just like everyone else," said Senior Police Officer A.Z. Spruill.
On Friday, Chesapeake officers ditched the write-up for a pick-me-up. The department handed out more than 100 turkeys to unsuspecting traffic violators across the city.
Several officers met at the Kroger location on Battlefield Boulevard to load their squad cars with the festive bird, before venturing out on patrol.
Each officer had a limited number of turkeys and handed out the gifts based on if the circumstances of the traffic stop and demeanor of the driver allowed.
In his 14 years with the Chesapeake Police Department, this is a first for Officer Spruill, who said he values community policing.
“It’s gratification for doing the job,” he said.
13News Now rode along with Spruill as he patrolled parts of Chesapeake, and we were in the car when he spotted a driver who did not stop at a stop sign.
“I’m going to give you a verbal warning,” he told the woman, who did not want to be on camera. “And I have one more thing for you: a turkey.”
The woman thanked him for the gesture, but declined. She asked that it be given to someone who needs it more.
In response, Spruill did hand her tickets... to the 2022 Chesapeake Jubilee next summer.
Officer Spruill was simply thankful to make someone’s day.
"It's gratification for doing the job," said Spruill. "And to see a smile like that for a traffic stop, it just sums it all up. It says, 'Job well done.' It's appreciated."
This is the fourth year Chesapeake Police partnered with Kroger, the Chesapeake Crime Line, and the Chesapeake Jubilee for the giveaway.
According to the department, a local man who is not a police officer named Rodney Foster started this act of kindness after raising money from several sponsors.