Prineville residents who were stopped by their local police this week were in for a surprise. Instead of citations, residents were handed gift cards to places like the Prineville Coffee Company and Starbucks.
Prineville Police handed out gift cards instead of tickets for minor traffic violation but also handed out gift cards to residents who were just out walking their dogs, shoveling snow or doing errands.
It was part of the department’s Random Acts of Kindness program, which is meant to help build a positive relationship between the department and the community.
“Just generally the perception that we’re not just out there to give them a ticket or to take them to jail, but we’re normal people and we’re out there just to share some kindness and spread of holiday cheer,” said Prineville Sgt. James Peterson.
While the gift card giveaways are over for the year, Prineville police hope that spirit of community and paying it forward sticks around all year.
Central Oregon Daily’s Warren Shultz has more.