- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A handful of New Orleans area police officers handed out $100 bills instead of citations this week as part of a Secret Santa event sponsored by an anonymous donor.

Eight officers with the Covington Police Department participated in the event after an anonymous Secret Santa donated thousands to the department, The Times-Picayune reported.

Annie Williams, who was stopped Tuesday morning for failing to use her turn signal, says she was floored after Sgt. Russell Spinks let her off with a warning and a $100 bill.

“On behalf of the Covington Police Department and an anonymous Secret Santa, here’s $100,” Sgt. Spinks said before wishing her a “Merry Christmas,” The Times-Picayune reported.

“I am very grateful,” she said. “Shocked.”

Roy McCann, who was also reportedly stopped for failing to use his turn signal, told Sgt. Spinks, “This is the best blessing. Thank you, officer.”

Citing Ferguson, Police Chief Tim Lentz said the event was a “big step” in building a better relationship with the community.

“To me, this is so important to us in our mission, because every day when we go to work we build what I call ‘social capital,” he told The Times-Picayune. “We build our relationships with our community, so God forbid should something like Ferguson happen here in Covington, our citizens hopefully will give us the benefit of the doubt because we spend all year long building our relationships.”

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