Police issue Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets

If you got pulled over in Billings, Montana this week, you may have gotten a turkey instead of a ticket.

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Officers Brandon Ihde, Andrew Sanders and Eric Schnelbach of the Billings Police Department’s traffic enforcement team pulled over drivers Wednesday and let them go with a warning, along with a frozen bird.

Lieutenant Neil Lawrence told ABC News that this was the first year that the department made the Thanksgiving gesture.

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“The individuals that received the warnings and the turkeys have been very happy,” Lawrence said. “Our Facebook page has received a lot of positive comments regarding it. So far its been a very positive thing for the community.”

Only drivers who committed minor traffic violations were let off the hook with a Thanksgiving turkey.

Larry Mayer, Billings GazetteBillings, Montona police officer Eric Schnelbach gives a frozen turkey and a warning to Larry Riddle and his daughter Amber after they were pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Billings businessman Steve Goutanis donated the turkeys.

“The turkeys were handed to, let’s say, someone going over the speed limit a few miles an hour or rolling through a stop sign,” Lawrence explained.

Lawrence said a local businessman, who is remaining anonymous, donated 20 turkeys for police to hand out for families in Billings.