Step out of the vehicle, and hand over your holiday list.
At a particularly sensitive time for police forces around the country, one department in Michigan is inspiring people with its own version of goodwill and generosity.
Officers from the Lowell, Michigan, police department surprised plenty of drivers last month when they were pulled over for routine traffic stops. Instead of tickets, the unsuspecting motorists were about to receive gifts from their very own Christmas lists, an act of kindness all captured on video.
Officer Scot VanSolkema acted as the department’s Santa, wearing a hidden camera and microphone as he chatted up drivers after he pulled them over. VanSolkema asked them what they wanted for the holidays, all while fellow officers were listening in and scrambling at a local store to rush items from the drivers’ wish lists to the scene.
The motorists’ shocked and surprised expressions were captured on video as they received gifts like new televisions, Apple iPads, Xbox Ones, gift certificates and even some coveted but pricey presents sought by their children.
Several overwhelmed drivers couldn’t help question how VanSolkema pulled off his gifting, but he chalked it up to the magic of Christmas. “Well, we’ve got radios and sleighs and magic elves,” he responded.
The video’s creator said he was inspired to shoot the project because of his belief in the hard work of those in law enforcement, who often quietly go out of their way to help people in need.
“I feel there’s tons of great police officers who are getting missed in all the negative police coverage,” viral video marketer Rob Bliss, who created the spot, told PEOPLE.
“A big part of police work is public safety-community outreach, the proactive side of police work,” Bliss said, noting that the video, created on behalf of UP TV’s "Uplift Someone" campaign, has earned nearly 1.3 million views on Facebook in the 24 hours since it was first posted.
“The feedback has been enormously positive. I thought there may be at least a bit of negativity given all the negative police stories currently trending, but it has been across-the-board positive,” he said.
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