WPD surprises drivers with gift cards instead of tickets

WICHITA Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police were on the lookout for traffic violators, but a few police officers had a different assignment, to give back to the community.

“This is definitely a different assignment. First time I have been involved with something like this in 21 years. So I am a bit nervous,” says Patrolman Johnny Parker.

Officer Johnny Parker had the jitters before this assignment. It’s not usually what he’s asked to.

“He turned into the furthest lane,” says Parker.

He’s in hot pursuit of a driver who made an illegal lane change. Though he may have had a good excuse, this driver was just wasting his breath. He was not in any trouble.

“Normally, this would be a citation but we are going to see if we can make his day today,” says Parker.

Parker should have brought a citation back to the driver, but that is not the card that was dealt.

Parker says to the driver, “Normally sir this is about a $100 ticket but we are going to do something different from that. Merry Christmas from the Wichita Police Department in the spirit of the Christmas season.”

He gave him a $50 gift card.

“I am just satisfied with the police department and everything, and I am just happy as heck,” says Bob Bankston.

Bankston is one of 29 people who will get a $50 gift certificate to QuikTrip or Kwik Shop instead of a ticket when they’re pulled over for a traffic violation.

It made for a challenging assignment for Officer Parker because it seems drivers were on their best behavior.

That is until Parker spotted a busted brake light. But when he went to confront the driver they didn’t speak the same language.

But Parker says it’s the little acts of love and kindness that can transcend any language barrier.

“You made a difference to that person’s life in that moment in time. So, if you made a difference in someone’s life one day then who knows what that leads to down the road. So these gift cards might seem small but it may touch off and lead to something bigger,” says Parker.