According to the Associated Press, police in Sacramento rounded up gift certificates from local businesses and are pulling people over while driving to hand them out. Apparently this is to “promote the holiday spirit and enhance goodwill between the traffic unit and the motoring public,” and to, erm, avoid doing real police work perhaps?
I wonder what the hourly cost of a patrol car is, and how much it really costs to pull someone over. I doubt it’s cheap. For every silly little $5 Starbucks gift card they’re handing out they’re probably burning $50-250 taxpayer dollars. (and then there’s the lost opportunity cost of catching someone during that time who was actually breaking the law…)