Goodyear Deputy Chief of Police pulls over drivers for a holiday surprise

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A Goodyear police officer hits the streets, looking for people to pull over.

There is a twist to this story, however.

The officer wasn't looking to ruin someone's Christmas Day. Far from it, in fact. The patrol car was full of gifts, and instead of handing out tickets, the officer handed out surprises to unsuspecting citizens. In one instance, what started out as a frightening experience for a teen driver ended with a grateful heart. Inside the card the driver received was a $20 bill.

"That's probably, like, the best thing that could've happened today to me," said Jaylen Wells. "You never know what somebody is going through at any time."

Every Christmas, Goodyear's Deputy Chief of Police, Justin Hughes, stops dozens of strangers, choosing people at random, handing out the completely unexpected.

"We police a really great community," said Hughes. "I just thought we have to be able to do something to give back. Nine years ago I've started this. Each year, I try to take it to another level."

This year, Hughes handed out about 50 stuffed animals, $350 in gift cards, and around $150 in cash, just because he can. The surprise, the gratitude, and the people, Hughes says, are priceless. Hughes wants to show people that flashing lights in the rear view mirror doesn't always mean bad news.