In one Maine town, traffic stops are ending with smiles, handshakes and hugs. Instead of giving out citations, Fryeburg Police officers are handing out gift certificates from local businesses.
"That's what the holiday season is all about," said Fryeburg Police Chief Joshua Potvin.
He said 20 drivers have been pulled over this week for traffic violations like speeding, or not wearing seatbelts.
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"These are traffic violations where they would most likely be getting a warning anyway," said Chief Potvin.
When it appeared officers were writing a ticket, they were actually handing over a holiday card.
"You get a meal on Fryeburg Police," the chief told one driver, who immediately thanked the officers and asked for a hug.
Driver Joe Vaughan posted to the Fryeburg Police Department’s page: "I am still speechless by the random act of kindness. Thank you again, not only for the card, but also helping restore my faith in humanity."
Potvin said this special gift card ends the year on a high note, after his officers have struggled through a difficult time. This summer, a fellow officer died while performing a water rescue. The community rallied around the department.
"We started out the summer very rocky," he said. "Our community was really supportive of us so this is our opportunity to give back to them."