Governments' Lighter Side

'Here's your ticket — and $100'

Plano, Texas, police officer helps a motorist in need.

It's the Christmas season and Santa Cop is apparently driving the roads in Texas, according to a report from KTVT. The television station tells the story of a police officer in Plano who, after pulling over a man down on his luck, gave the man a ticket for an expired registration wrapped in a $100 bill.

The 25-year-old man said he's been struggling to support his wife and two small children. "You get paid, pay your bills, and there's your money. It's gone."

He told the officer he had no excuse for the expired registration. "I said 'there's no explanation for why I haven't done it, except I don't have the money.' I said 'it was either feed my kids or get my registration done.'"

The officer wrote the man a citation for the violation but added something extra. "I opened it up and there's a 100 dollar bill. I broke down in my car. What else could I do."

The officer wants to remain anonymous and didn't tell anyone about his gift, but the man's grandfather wrote a letter of appreciation to the police department. Now his coworkers plan to honor him. "As he told me, this man needed it more than him," one fellow officer said.

The story has a happy ending, too. The down-on-his-luck driver was able to update the registrations on both his and his wife's car. And now he's driving to a new job.

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It is an irreverent take on local and state government news. Suggestions?

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008 graduate of Furman University...
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