A YouTube video showing Michigan police officers surprising unsuspecting drivers with Christmas gifts is going viral.
Once a Lowell Michigan Police officer pulls over a driver, he or she asks what the driver wants for Christmas. Other officers and volunteers are carefully listening through an open radio and quickly shopping for the gifts at a nearby store.
The gifts are delivered during the traffic stop.
The reactions to the gifts include astonishment, applause, hugs and tears.
Officers pin it all on “radios, sleighs, magic elves and stuff.”
The video, posted Tuesday, is closing in on 1 million views.
“Most of the contact police officers have with the general public is on a traffic stop. You can find out a lot about that person in that 10- or 15-minute window,” said Police Chief Steve Bukala. “We asked, ‘what if we could change that person’s day in real time? What if we can change that person’s day right now?’”
Lowell is about two hours west of Detroit.
The initiative is part of Christian-based TV network UP TV and part of its Uplift Someone Christmas campaign, reports NBC in Grand Rapids. The station says UP TV paid for the gifts and the police played along.
“While we don’t encourage minor traffic violations, it’s important for police departments to take the time to show their citizens just how much they care,” reads a message as the video ends.