MONTREAL — After two anonymous donors gave $5,000 to the Longueuil police force, officers were giving out money to unsuspecting drivers.
Along Taschereau Boulevard, Agent Amelie Brien handed out $100 bills to drivers she pulled over, who initially thought they were being ticketed for a contravention like a broken taillight.
After Steve St-Vincent was pulled over in the parking lot of a local restaurant as he parked and was walking in, he looked shocked as Brien instructed him to stay with his car.
His expression changed completely after she handed him a C-note.
“A hundred dollars, my friends!” he said afterward, holding up the bill.
“I was worried… it’s been two times this month they pull me over for nothing.”
In a news release, police said one man who received a $100 bill told the officer he would be sending the money to his family in Haiti.
Last week, in a bid to improve the public’s perception of Montreal police officers – or perhaps to simply spread the holiday spirit – one Montreal police officer pulled over motorists, and instead of giving them tickets, handed out crisp $100 bills.
While the recipients were thrilled by their stroke of luck, cynics could question the motivations of police for handing out the cash.
Where exactly the money came from is a mystery: police describe the two donors as simply “a millionaire” and the president “of a major South Shore company.”
Police deny that the effort was done as an effort to improve its image in the wake of pension reform protests.
The reputations of some first-responders were called into question following demonstrations against Bill 3.
“No, we were already in that spirit,” said Mark David, of Longueuil Police. David added that the department modelled the giveaway after similar efforts in Kansas City and Montreal.
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The anonymous donors apparently asked that officers try to offer the money to those who would benefit most from the gift. Police said that they screened recipients by looking for older cars that perhaps needed maintenance.