It’s Christmas. You’re struggling to afford any kind of holiday cheer. You may not have enough to get gifts for your kids. The last thing you need to see are police lights in your rear-view mirror. But in Detroit, that may not be a ticket awaiting you, but a secret Santa disguised as police chief James Craig. Thanks to an anonymous donor, Chief Craig has spread some cash around to lift up people in need in the holiday season:

As we cruised down East Jefferson we noticed a tan Chevy venture in need of a little pick-me-up. Off went the lights then the sirens. The car quickly pulled over. Inside the car – a father, his daughter and his two grandkids. The man’s daughter was behind the wheel.

“You know why we stopped you? I have to tell you when we drove by you looked like you didn’t have a lot of joy,” Chief Craig told the man and his daughter.

At first she didn’t want to be on camera but that quickly changed as did her luck. First a $50 Kroger gift card. Then came a $50 bill. Then as Chief learned the man’s grandkids were in the backseat he forked over another $50 bill.

As the day went on we ran into more and more people walking along and more drivers in need.

Perhaps the best part of that video report from WXYZ is the joy this gift gives to all — to Chief Craig, and to the people he serves in Detroit.

Officer Santa’s beat isn’t just limited to Motown, either. An anonymous donor gave $3000 to St. Louis County PD to give at random to residents, and police are spreading cheer rather than asking people to “spread ’em”:

How about instead of a ticket, a police officer pulled you over and handed you a $100 bill?

That’s actually happening across St. Louis County throughout the day Wednesday according to police department spokesman Shawn McGuire.

“We pull over somebody for a minor traffic violation, an officer walks up to the car and instead of getting a traffic ticket that day they get a hundred dollars,” McGuire says. “It’s kind of like a Secret Santa. It develops that positive interaction with our residents.”

Which was the exact goal of the anonymous donor who gave the department $3,000.

It’s been a tough couple of years for police departments and the communities they serve, especially around St. Louis, MO. Clearly these anonymous donors think so, too, and want to promote a little healing. And what better time of year to do so? Kudos to these truly secret Santas, and to the police departments that put themselves in the spirit of these gifts. Merry Christmas to them all, and merry Christmas to you all as well.