Sarnia Police pulled over about 10 surprised motorists last week with lights flashing in unmarked cruisers, even though the drivers had done nothing wrong.
In fact, they were rewarded for good driving with a $10 gift certificate from Coffee Culture.
So what’s up with that?
“It’s good for police to have positive interaction with the public, and we thought we’d let people know we’re impressed when they do the right thing and follow the rules of the road,” said Sarnia Police Const. Les Jones.
“Everyone likes to get something for a job well done,” he added.
Added Const. John Sottosanti, “We told them what they were doing right and each one of them was very happy. Just because a police officer stops you doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.”
The 10 drivers rewarded with a gift certificate may have been happy but not everyone is enamored with the initiative.
Some people commenting on the police Facebook page called the idea “extremely annoying” and just a way to randomly stop drivers.
“You could always pull over the countless people I see speeding, not signaling turns and distracted driving instead,” wrote Kristian Bidtnes.
“The only reason I can see for doing this is Sarnia has so many bad drivers that it is easier to pull over the good ones,” she continued.
Others were more supportive.
Norma Demers-Noel called it a fantastic program, while Shaun Antle said it was a great initiative.
“In policing, no matter what you do, you’ll never make everyone happy,” said Jones. “We haven’t been taking names or checking paperwork.
“I think we’re getting more positive feedback than negative.”
It wasn’t clear at press time if Sarnia Police would extend the reward program into this week, but Jones thought there was a good chance.
“People might be a little surprised to be pulled over but everyone likes it when they find out they are being rewarded,” he said.