Police Department Gives Gift Cards Instead of Tickets

Westampton, NJ (WTXF) Flashing lights and sirens that's what many drivers saw Thursday night in one Burlington County community. Police there have been pulling over motorists for a variety of minor infractions, but there's a twist --all of them drove away smiling.

Police are stopping motorists to engage them as part of community outreach instead of giving the motorist a ticket they will get a gift card.

“It’s not very predictable. It keeps me on my toes,” said Westampton Police Officer Michelle Ent.

Motorists are thrilled especially this holiday season.

Westampton Police Department Lt. Roger Rogers came up with the idea as a way to change the disconnect between police and the community.

“It’s our effort to change the narrative on the disconnect between the police and the community," Lt. Rogers explained. 

Officer Michelle Ent of West Hampton Police pulled over Kent Robinson for having a headlight out. Instead of giving him a ticket, she gave him a $5 gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Am I going to be on TV? This is a spoof or something?” Robinson laughs.

Sam Maldonaldo, of West Hampton, was pulled over because the officer said she saw him on his cell phone.

“I’m shocked. I feel like I’m on Punk’d or something.” he said.

The most memorable one was Samantha Craig of Mt Laurel. She was pulled over for speeding and when she was given a $5 Dunkin' Donuts gift card she began to cry.

“My father died a few months ago, and I’ve been having a rough yet. It was very kind of her.” Craig said.

Officer Ent says she loves her job because it keeps her on her toes.

“Even though you are doing your job, it’s nice to make someone’s day. You’re able to have an impact on someone’s life in a positive way," she said.

This was just a practice run tonight, but they will extend it throughout the holiday season.

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