Novi police spreading holiday cheer thanks to a special donation

NOVI, Mich. (WXYZ) - It might be a good thing to get pulled over in Novi this week. That's because police officers are giving drivers something else instead of tickets.

Officer Anthony Avant is happy to pull people over because he is randomly handing out $25 gift cards to Target.

"Not only are you building trust with the community, but you're actually helping someone during the holiday season," he says.

A restaurant called Moe's on Ten donated more than 40 gift cards for Novi firefighter and police officers to give out for the holiday season. This is the second year they're doing this random act of kindness.

Moufid Leon, the owner of the restaurant, says he wants people to look at police officers and firefighters in a positive light.

He said, "They are out to protect the community, they are out to patrol the community, they are out to for the people not against the people."

"Generally when people get pulled over by the police, they are thinking the worst. 'I'm going to get a ticket,'" Avant explained. "And to return to with a gift card, the reaction was unbelievable."

For some recipients, a $25 gift card right before Christmas can go a long way.

Jess Levy was pulled over.

She said, "I was expecting the worst and so this is such a nice surprise. I wasn't expecting it at all."

Nada Lilly also received a gift card and she plans to spend it on someone else.

"I'm not sure. Probably take my son to the store and get what he wants," she said.

The drivers may be feel lucky, but Avant says he is the lucky one.

"Just to see their reaction, how thankful they are really, really warms your heart," he says.

Novi police are giving out the remainder their gift cards today, but the fire department still has several that they will give out the next few days.

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