Michigan Police Pull Over Drivers and Then Surprise Them With Christmas Presents

Playing good cop, good cop

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It hasn't been the best year for the image of police officers. But the police force in Lowell, Mich., is ending the year on a high note by handing out Christmas presents to people they pull over for traffic violations.

Videographer Rob Bliss, who also worked on the famous "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman" video, helped to produce this new spot—which is part of UP TV's "Uplift Someone" campaign this holiday season.

It's professionally done, with all the prank-stunt trimmings. The officers chat with the drivers about what they and their kids want for Christmas, and the info is secretly relayed to co-conspirators at retail stores, who quickly buy the stuff and get it over to the cars. (It must have been a little odd for the drivers to just sit there for minutes on end, but they all seem happy enough by the end.)

Cops in California's Plumas County did something similar earlier this year, handing out ice cream to drivers at traffic stops. That effort got a mixed reaction—some people flatly feel that police shouldn't be putting resources into pranks like this. But it will take a special kind of grinch to hate on the new video, particularly at a time when positive images of police are pretty sorely in demand.

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.