MASON — Seeing flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror might not be bad news for those traveling through Mason this holiday season.
The Mason Police Department began a “random acts of kindness” event last week just in time for Thanksgiving, and one that will continue through Christmas. Officers are randomly choosing vehicles to pull over, but instead of being given a ticket, the driver is being presented with a $20 gift card to Bob Evans restaurant.
Police Chief Rich Gilkey said the idea came from council member and Police Commissioner Emily Henry. After getting council approval, a number of gift cards were purchased, plus the restaurant donated additional cards.
Gilkey said the $20 card is enough to feed four people with the family meals the restaurant offers.
“We just want to show people that we aren’t all about giving traffic tickets,” the chief said.
Crystal Marshall was on the receiving end of the giveaway and said she was shocked. Marshall said she had just left her mother-in-law’s house and went through the traffic light at the bridge, when she saw the police lights in her mirror.
“I looked at the speedometer to make sure I wasn’t speeding,” she said. “I made sure I had my seatbelt on and that (daughter) Sydnee had hers on, too. I couldn’t figure out what we had done.”
Marshall said the officer walked up to the window, said he saw her little one in the back, and just wanted to say “Happy Thanksgiving.” Then he gave her the gift card.
“I was kind of in shock because I definitely wasn’t thinking we were getting pulled over so he could give us a gift card,” she continued.
Marshall said she couldn’t feel anything but happy as she pulled away.
“All I wanted to do was go out and do random acts of kindness for others, too,” she concluded.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.