Montana Cops Issue Thanksgiving Turkeys Instead Of Tickets To Spread Holiday Cheer

"It has been a very positive thing for the community."

Between buying presents, visiting with family members, and preparing elaborate meals, the holidays can be a very stressful time. That's why one Montana town is giving out Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets for those who commit minor traffic violations. 


ABC News reports residents of Billings, Montana, who were pulled over last week for say, rolling through a stop sign or failing to put their turn signal on, were given a turkey, and a warning, in place of a ticket. The charitable exchange was made possible by an anonymous local businessman who purchased 20 frozen turkeys to be given out accordingly.

"The individuals that received the warnings and the turkeys have been very happy," Lieutenant Neil Lawrence told the outlet, adding that this is the first year the Billings Police Department made such a gesture. "Our Facebook page has received a lot of positive comments regarding it. So far its been a very positive thing for the community."

Though some on the department's Facebook page suggested not giving out tickets to traffic violators was unsafe, Lawrence maintained only those who committed minor infractions received a turkey. As he explained, "The turkeys were handed to, let's say, someone going over the speed limit a few miles an hour or rolling through a stop sign."

And, according to the Billings Gazette, even this small gesture is making an impact on people's lives. After Larry Riddle was stopped by an officer for failing to use his turn signal, he was surprised to get a frozen turkey instead of a ticket. "I said, 'Well, I want to commit some more violations because I need a turkey for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas,'" Riddle explained to the publication, adding he's been on a tight budget since his wife died from cancer a few years ago.

Though police officers are there to protect citizens and implement the law, there's no shortage of law enforcement officials with a heart, either. Back in June we told you about the Wisconsin cop who took pity on a man who had a bit too much to drink, and in July, we shared the story of a Maryland police officer who responded to a shoplifting call with an act of extraordinary compassion.


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