Cedar Park police handed out toys instead of tickets Wednesday. Dozens of boys and girls got a surprise. Drivers even got into the spirit of giving.
Normally when officers in the traffic division of the Cedar Park Police Department sets up at an intersection they're looking for drivers who break the law. Wednesday, they were hunting for something very different.
It began as an idea over lunch. The officers wanted to hand out the left over toys from the Blue Santa Program instead of tickets. They enjoyed it so much last year they decided to make gift-giving a tradition.
"This is amazing. It really is," said mom Constance Phillips. "We're actually on the way to a doctor's appointment so for him it's great. He's looking forward to Christmas and he was just talking about being good."
"Our main job is to enforce traffic laws," said Officer Rodney Wilk. "So, typically when people come in contact with us it's for a ticket. This is a way for us to give back a little bit and not make that interaction not always a negative."
"It kind of shocked me," said driver Kristal Adams. "Did I do something wrong? Definitely not what I was expecting."
It's the one time of year these officers get to see smiles on every stop.
"It's really nice seeing the families receiving the gifts out here because there's a lot of kids out here who can't afford Christmas," said Officer Matthew Baran. "It's nice to see their faces, their expressions once they get the gifts. That gives us a lot of joy to see that."
Drivers watching from other lanes gave officers money. One threw a $20 dollar bill attached to a pen. As the money added up officers kept watch for a parent who maybe could use some extra help through the holidays. They gave it to a mother of three.
"It's hard not to cry just seeing their reaction," said Baran.
"Every single person you see out here, we're all fathers and the joy that we see on our kids' faces Christmas morning, it's just something neat to see on other children," said Wilk.