Drivers could get $100 instead of a ticket in Georgia as part of Secret Santa Mission

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A woman who was pulled over in Monroe County hugs a deputy when she realizes she's getting $100 instead of a ticket as the sheriff's office participates in "Secret Santa Mission" to spread Christmas cheer/David Domingue (WGXA)

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. (WGXA) - A major anonymous donation is letting the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Georgia get into the Christmas spirit.

The sheriff's office said an unknown person gave them $9,000 to carry on a Secret Santa Mission again this year.

"Well, several years ago, a few unnamed benefactors came forward and they wanted to spread the holiday cheer by giving us some money to hand out to people that we pull over for some very minor violations, and basically try to make their holidays a good holiday," said Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman.

Participating deputies give out a $100 bill instead of tickets to unsuspecting drivers.

The sheriff's office said the holiday project gives them a chance to keep ties strong between law enforcement and the Monroe County community.

"And we look for some very minor violation. Maybe it's a break light out, or failing to maintain their lane for a period of time, pull them over, the deputy will then hand them some money," Freeman said.

Deputies also want to remind drivers that they'll still be enforcing the law and shouldn't expect a $100 bill if they break the law.

"I think it's great for the officer. Normally when they pull somebody over they are giving a warning or a citation for a traffic violation, but in this respect they are able spread the holiday cheer out and put a smile on somebody's face and not a frown," said Corporal Thomas Haskins.