- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BELLEVUE, Mich. (AP) - A police officer inspired by the generosity of others with a badge is giving gifts instead of tickets in southwestern Michigan.

Bellevue Officer Edward Michela says it’s “better to give than to receive.” So drivers pulled over this week have been receiving gift cards for restaurants.

The Battle Creek Enquirer (http://bcene.ws/1JPL1zw ) says Diane Simons was stopped Monday for rolling through a stop sign. The result? A meal at Applebee’s. The 53-year-old says, “Bellevue rocks.”

Michela says he decided to give gifts after hearing about similar efforts by police in the Grand Rapids area community of Lowell and in Florida. He’s been an officer in Bellevue, in Eaton County, since 2000.

Michela says seeing happy people gives him a chill up his spine.

“When they get stopped for an infraction they are going to think they are going to get a ticket,” Michela said as he sat in his patrol car. “But it’s that old saying: ‘It’s better to give than receive.’ I love to see the expression on people’s faces.”

He said that when he saw a story about the police effort in Lowell, “I said I wished I could do something like that. So I was in Kohls and went kind of crazy on gift cards.”

Michela said he used his own money to buy six $15 cards for Subway and four $25 cards for Applebees.

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Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com

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