Police officers surprise shoppers with cash in California

Police officers in Oceanside, California, surprised shoppers by handing out cash. (Source: KFMB via CNN)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 4:12 PM CDT
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OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KFMB) – If you’re interacting with a police officer, usually it’s because you’ve been in an accident, are a victim of a crime, or you’re getting a ticket.

But in one California city, officers are changing that by giving away thousands of dollars.

Officers T.J. Dunn and Charles Dabney surprised shoppers Wednesday at a Walmart store located in the area where they regularly patrol.

“So, how much money do you think you’re going to spend today?” Dunn asked Sandy Hughes as she was shopping.

“More than I want to!” Hughes said.

Hughes is in the middle of moving because her rent just went up again, but her quick trip to the grocery store ended up making her smile.

“I’m going to give you $100 in cash,” Dunn told her before handing her the money. “It’s called an act of kindness.”

Technically, it’s called the Random Acts of Kindness Project, which was made possible by an Oceanside resident who donated $20,000 to the Oceanside Police Department to randomly give out to residents throughout the year to help make ends meet.

The project is giving officers the opportunity to meet people in a more relaxed and friendly environment than usual.

“Most of the time when people call the police, it’s not under the greatest circumstances,” said Jennifer Atenza, the department’s public information officer. “It’s when something bad has happened, there’s an emergency, there’s trauma involved. So, this affords us the opportunity to make connections under positive circumstances.”

Last month, Oceanside officers visited gas stations along their regular beat to help people with spiking gas prices.

Officers said soon they will randomly stop by other grocery stores across the city to give away cash.

Copyright 2022 KFMB via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.