The police in Altoona, Wis., just on the other side of Eau Claire, no doubt caused heart palpitations when they pulled people over yesterday. Nothing a ham can’t cure, though.
The Eau Claire Leader Telegram notes the drivers were speeding all right, but they didn’t get tickets. They got hams.
An anonymous family donated enough cash to the department to buy 26 hams from the local grocery store, the paper says.
The plan was to have officers on the street hand out most of the hams, but James said the department’s school resource officer was going to talk to the Altoona school district counseling staff to identify a few families who might benefit from a ham.
“They wanted us to target people we thought would be in need,” said James of the donor family.
When she realized she was being pulled over Thursday, Anne Bickle’s heart sank a bit.
“I wanted to spend money on Christmas, and money is already tight,” said Bickle, figuring she might be issued a costly ticket for failing to completely stop at a stop sign on 10th Street West.
When Peterson handed her a ham, Bickle couldn’t believe it.
“This is awesome,” she said. “What a nice gesture.”
The effort also made Peterson feel good.
“To brighten someone’s holiday, or any day for that matter, is a good thing,” said Peterson, an Altoona High School graduate who joined the department almost two years ago. Plus, “I think anytime the public can see the police in a good light, it’s a good thing.”
In 2014, another anonymous donor gave the department enough money to hand out $100 bills to people.