Warren County Sheriff's Office hands out $100 bills instead of citations

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- In the spirit of the holidays, the Warren County Sheriff's Office began their annual tradition of giving out $100 to members of the community.

"This is our fourth year we've done this, and we've given in excess of $40,000 by an anonymous donor," explained Sheriff "Peanuts" Gaines.

Traditionally, the Sheriff's Deputies would stop a car driving in the area, perhaps for a minor moving violation, but it doesn't necessarily stop there.

"That one's yours," said Deputy Chris Shelton, as he handed a crisp 100-dollar bill through the window of a fast food food drive thru. The recipient was at a loss for words as she smiled and turned back into the building.

"Their reaction is priceless," Shelton later said.

Another deputy was in on the action today, and got to spread some holiday cheer of his own.

"I don't know any police officer that's gotten into this profession other than to help people," says Sergeant Curtis Hargett.

"Are you serious?" asks Marcus Simms after Hargett approached him in a gas station parking lot. "Thank you man. You don't even know, I need this 100 bucks."

Simms explained that he works two jobs: one in Bowling Green and one in Nashville. He said the money was much needed for travel expenses.

"I am so very grateful and appreciative," he added.

A couple drivers were pulled over by deputies on Wednesday, but were met with a nice surprise.

"Now, we don't stop people driving Rolls Royce and Cadillac," says Sheriff Gaines, "and we got plenty of money right now, but we will give it out this week where people will have something, where they'll have a good Christmas."

Gaines said it's something he looks forward to every year.

"It brings us back to the real reason we get into this," says Sgt. Hargett, "and to see their reaction, it's great."

"Peanuts" Gaines said if anybody wants to get involved like the Presbyterian Church did, his office would be glad to distribute the money and help people.

Gaines also said their goal is to make Christmas easier for somebody who may be having a rough time.

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