- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

FORSYTH, Ga. (AP) - Sheriff’s deputies in a central Georgia county have been surprising motorists, some of whom expect a ticket.

Instead, they’ve gotten $100 bills.

Monroe County Sheriff John Cary Bittick gave officers 54 $100 bills to hand out randomly over three days during the past week, The Telegraph reported (http://bit.ly/1UItVrJ). The money came from an anonymous benefactor, the Macon newspaper reported.

“He had seen this program someplace else, and he thought in light of some of the tension nationally between law enforcement and local communities that this would be a great thing to do,” Bittick said.

Some of the recipients were so moved they broke into tears, the Telegraph reported.

But not all of those stopped were polite.

“I had one cuss me out,” Deputy John Thompson said. “I didn’t give her any money, but I had three cry.”

James King of Forsyth didn’t know why a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy was on his tail Thursday morning, as he was headed to physical therapy.

“A little nervous when they pulled behind me,” said King, who is recovering from a back injury from an October traffic accident.

Deputy Timothy Campfield told King his license plate light was out, a violation that usually means a citation.

“Today, we’d like to spread a little joy in the community, so we’d like to give you this,” Campfield said, handing King a crisply folded $100 bill.

King’s eyes widened, and the worried look on his face softened into a smile.

“Oh, thank you. Thank you so much,” King said.

“I hope that money finds a good place for the holiday,” the deputy told him.

King was already coming up with gift ideas for his little girl, the Macon newspaper reported.

“I feel good. It’s good for the sheriff’s department,” King said. “I feel relief that I’m not in no trouble, but I feel good.”

The sheriff said it’s a great way to spread the holiday spirit.

“This also is a good way for us at the sheriff’s office to tell the entire Middle Georgia community, ‘Merry Christmas,’” he said.

___

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com

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