MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen police officers made several traffic stops on Wednesday morning, but instead of handing out traffic violation tickets, they gave away Thanksgiving turkeys.
The McAllen Police Department held their Ticket or Turkey event as a “goodwill gesture during this special holiday,” they stated in a press release.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. “None of us like to be pulled over. The moment those lights come on behind you, that’s a ticket coming your way, money it’s going to cost you. We’ve been through some very difficult, hard times as a community, as a country, as a world as well. This gives us an opportunity to quickly turn that around.”
Perla Romero was one of those that was pulled over on Wednesday. She said she was initially worried when she saw the police lights behind her.
“I was like ‘Oh my God, no, what did I do?’ I was scared because what did I do? I just panicked,” said Romero.
After realizing that she was receiving a turkey, Romero said she was grateful.
“It feels really nice. I’m thankful for the food. It just means a lot. It just means people out there care,” she said.
The event was part of McAllen’s annual Turkey Meal Give Away, hosted by the City of McAllen and McAllen Crime Stoppers.
The McAllen Crime Stoppers Board raised funds to purchase Thanksgiving turkey dinners for 250 families with “modest means” for the giveaway.
“We are very proud to be part of this and very glad we have the leadership of the Crime Stoppers Board to get this done,” Rodriguez said in the release.