FORT WORTH, TEXAS - There were lights and sirens during routine traffic stops Wednesday, but there were also smiles.
Fort Worth Police handed out Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets for small violations. Five teams of officers spread out around the city and handed out dozens of birds.
"They are ready to give it out to citizens who need turkeys for Thanksgiving next week," said Officer Tamara Valle.
Officer Anthony Colter was the behind the wheel on East Lancaster Avenue, where he was looking forward to surprising citizens.
"Even though we do enforce traffic law and we do have some unpleasant decisions to make, we still are about the people," Colter said.
He made five stops, ranging from failing to signal to not wearing a seat belt. But in each instance, he gave the drivers a reprieve.
"We're going to overlook that," he told a driver. "Instead of giving out citations, we're going to give you a Thanksgiving turkey!"
Charles Miller got stopped for failing to use his turn signal. He was on the way to the hospital to pick up his wife, who recently had knee surgery. When the officers delivered the news, he erupted into a grin.
"I'm going to tell everyone," he said. "I'm going to show 'em my turkey too!"
For the officers, it was a chance to spread happiness and share a positive interaction with police at a time when skepticism toward law enforcement is at the forefront. It's a message that wasn't lost on citizens either.
"I'm pleased to see it, because there's so much hate in this country right now," said Howard Miles, who took home a turkey. "To see brotherly love, it's very, very inspiring."
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