Wichita police surprise drivers with gift cards instead of tickets

Johnny Parker (Courtesy: KSNW)

WICHITA Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police were on the lookout for traffic violators in Kansas this week, but a few officers had a different assignment, to give back to the community.

“This is definitely a different assignment. First time I have been involved with something like this in 21 years. So I am a bit nervous,” said Patrolman Johnny Parker.

He’s in hot pursuit of a driver who made an illegal lane change.

“Normally, this would be a citation but we are going to see if we can make his day today,” said Parker.

He told the driver that normally his infraction is a $100 ticket, but instead handed him a $50 gift card from the Wichita Police Department “in the spirit of the Christmas season.”

“I am just satisfied with the police department and everything, and I am just happy as heck,” said the driver, Bob Bankston.

Bankston is one of 29 people who will get a $50 gift certificate to QuikTrip or Kwik Shop instead of a ticket when they’re pulled over for a traffic violation.

“You made a difference to that person’s life in that moment in time. So, if you made a difference in someone’s life one day then who knows what that leads to down the road. So these gift cards might seem small but it may touch off and lead to something bigger,” said Parker.