Police officer dishes out ice cream — not tickets — to people he pulls over

/ Source: TODAY

Instead of traffic tickets, one Georgia police officer dished out something much sweeter to the people he pulled over — ice cream.

When Officer Ed Smith of the Warner Robins Police Department stopped people for driving infractions last week, he gave them all a Dairy Queen Blizzard and let them go with a warning.

"Most of them were in complete disbelief," Smith told TODAY.com. "One girl's face, it was worth a thousand words. She thought she was in a lot of trouble."

She could have been — Smith said he only pulled over people who were actually doing something wrong, per federal law.

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"We can't violate their Fourth Amendment rights, so there had to be probable cause for the stop to be made," Smith said. "Failure to use a turn signal, burnt out taillights. We had one improper lane change."

The sweet surprises were part of the police department's "Traffic Stops for Blizzards," program, their way to support "Miracle Treat Day," in which $1 from every Dairy Queen Blizzard sold benefits Children's Miracle Networks Hospitals.

"Miracle Treat Day happens all over the country, but what we did was try to get into the community," said Jennifer Parson, the police department's public information officer, of their unique way of raising awareness.

"We want to be a community-oriented police department," Smith added. "It's always nice to get out there, in front of the public, and do things that are positive, especially in this day and time."

Nearly $2 million will be donated to hospitals across the country, thanks to Miracle Treat Day, Dairy Queen said. Drivers in Warner Robins, Georgia, are also clearly grateful.

"This is the best pull-over I ever got," one woman said in a video the police department posted.