It was a happy Thanksgiving for some who were stopped by police officers Wednesday morning! The Billings Police Department received an anonymous donation of Sam’s Club gift cards, using them to purchase 30 turkeys to hand out to citizens during lawful traffic stops.

Thirty turkeys were distributed to Billings Police officers to hand out during routine traffic stops.

Sergeant Stovall was one officer handing out turkeys to the lucky drivers. He says the police department did this six years ago and felt this year was the perfect time to start doing it again. Once the turkeys were distributed to other officers, it was time to hit the road and find a lucky car to pull over. 

Distributing these turkeys was a great way for officers to connect with Billings residents in a new way. When asked what his favorite part about being a cop is, Stovall says he loves getting out, helping community members, and building relationships with them. He adds that he is very personable and loves talking to people. Originally an officer from Denver, Colorado, he likes having more sincere relationships with citizens in Billings and his fellow officers; being an officer in Billings is also less stressful when compared to the hustle and bustle of a big city like Denver.

Each vehicle pulled over was asked to give their license and registration, the standard practice when an officer pulls someone over. After writing down the appropriate information, the individual was given a warning and a turkey. Stovall pulled over a white suburban with license plates covered in dirt for the first traffic stop. After being asked to dust the first off the license plate, so it was visible, the driver was given a free turkey they could use for the holiday season. Another driver who was pulled over had an obstructed windshield. Each person who was stopped seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing they were not receiving a ticket but instead a turkey. 

It’s initiatives like these that truly make the holiday season magical. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and remember to give thanks for all the good in your life today!