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Billings Police Department gives out turkeys, not tickets

Sgt. Jeff Stovall gives driver turkey during traffic stop
Woman embraces officer Nate Contreraz after receiving turkey
Posted at 4:28 PM, Nov 23, 2022

BILLINGS — Routine traffic stops in Billings ended with a Thanksgiving surprise for drivers Wednesday morning when the Billings Police Department gave out turkeys, not tickets.

Sgt. Jeff Stovall was one of five police officers giving out the turkeys during the traffic stops. It was his idea to give out the surprises when the police department received a generous donation.

Sgt. Jeff Stovall gives driver turkey during traffic stop

“We got some donations that anonymously got sent to the police department and I thought, you know what? Let’s go buy some turkeys,” he said. "One of the other ways that the Billings Police Department is able to give back to our community.”

Thirty turkeys were purchased to give out to 30 unknowing drivers. The police officers and drivers both got to leave the traffic stop with a smile on their faces. The drivers left with a decent-sized turkey and a warning for their traffic violation.

Woman embraces officer Nate Contreraz after receiving turkey

“You don’t get to give too many people a ticket and they leave with a smile on their face. So, it’s really nice to see the smile and joy on their face when they’re given a turkey and not a ticket. So, it’s really cool and it kind of warms your heart getting to be able to do that for our guys, too,” Stovall said. “It can be a hard time of the year for families and not being able to put food on the plate for their families, and that’s tough for families. And we understand that, we empathize with that, and this is one of the ways we can get out and help the families as well.”