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Falls police giving back

Drivers pulled over to receive a turkey feast

Newton Falls officer Jarrett Pishotti,hands out a turkey and pie to a motorists pulled over by police Monday afternoon as police randomly gave out turkeys

NEWTON FALLS — Motorists stopped Monday afternoon by police near the intersection of West Broad Street and Canal Street may have been expecting to receive a traffic citation but instead received a surprise: a complete turkey dinner.

Police Detective Andy Harvey, dressed as a blue-coated Santa Claus, along with other police staff said they were looking to help people in the community during the hard economic times due to the coronavirus pandemic. They decided to use donations raised from “No Shave November” and fill-a-cruiser events to provide turkey dinners to at least 10 families in November and 30 in December,

“The officers take part in the No Shave November and decided to use those donations to help feed families during the holidays,” Harvey said. The annual event is when officers choosing facial hair, in lieu of the clean shave policy, each make a donation

On Monday, Harvey said a police cruiser was off the side of West Broad Street and randomly with lights flashing pulled people over in the village’s downtown. The officers would then approach the driver and ask: “Do you know why I pulled you over?

To the many drivers’ surprise — including some holding their driver’s licenses — they were presented a turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries and other Thanksgiving food items including pie.

“We tell them ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and present them the food. Everyone needs a bright spot in the world today and this is one way people can step up and be good human beings,” Harvey said.

He said some people were very emotional and appreciative.

“It has been a very stressful and emotional year for many people who lost jobs. Some people said while they did not need the food they would give it to someone who did,” he said.

Ten motorists were pulled over during an hour on Monday.

Doug and Barbara Dolin of Newton Falls were among those surprised.

“This is such a blessing. We have always tried to help others at the holidays. This helps us out since I lost my income this year. It is so appreciated when they can help others,” Barbara said.

Doug said at first he was not sure why he was being pulled over by the police.

“I really did not know what was happening,” he said.

“I was also wondering why are we being pulled over. We weren’t speeding,” Barbara said.

In addition, the police auxiliary is preparing food, clothing and other items to give to families.

Harvey said the police will team with the fire department in December to deliver around 30 meals to local families for Christmas.

“This shows how our community comes together to help families in need,” Harvey said.

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