Hutto police officers hand out cash instead of tickets

Police officers in Hutto spent the afternoon enforcing traffic laws with different kinds of citations.

Cops said they wanted to do something different during the holiday season to show the community how much they are appreciated.
“What we're doing today, is we're actually going through and we're making traffic stops like we usually do, but instead of giving people citations or anything, we're actually giving a little card just to say Merry Christmas from the police department and the Austin Christian Fellowship Church of Hutto and also Nueva Vida of Hutto,” Officer Daniel Riley told one driver he had stopped for a minor infraction.

The Nueva Vida Hutto church and the Austin Christian Fellowship of Hutto gave officers $50 bills inside of Christmas cards to pass out to unsuspecting drivers.
               
For drivers like Jordan Gaston it's somewhat of a Christmas miracle.

“I appreciate it so much. I wasn't expecting it, but it's those little things you do for people that really make the most difference. So I really appreciate it and I hope it goes to someone else because I'm sure it will make their day like it made mine,” said Gaston. 

This is the second year police officers in Hutto are handing out cards to drivers in the area.

“The idea is to spread some Christmas cheer, give some hope and some happiness back instead of, ‘Oh my goodness, I'm getting stopped again,’” said Hutto Police Chief Earl Morrison Jr. 

Pastors at the two churches hope by letting officers hand over the gifts, they can make a bigger difference in the community.

“When the officer shows up with something different than a citation, I think that begins to change the mentality of people,” said Sr. Pastor Joaquin Bordoni of the Nueva Vida Hutto church. 

“It's a much different interaction than we normally have on traffic stops,” Riley said. 

The goal is to create more positive interactions between drivers in Hutto and the officers that serve them all while spreading a little holiday cheer. 

The Hutto Police Department handed out a total of $1,000 Thursday afternoon. They also invited drivers back to the police station for an open house so they could continue building relationships with the community.

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