To cleanse the palate on a slow news day, who wouldn’t want to be detained by law enforcement in exchange for a free cup of watery convenience-store coffee?

If anything, they should scale the program up. If they shoot your dog during a raid, you get a coupon for a free drink *and* a doughnut.

If you get tased unjustly, your Slushee’s on them.

Seriously, though, while much fun has been had online today over this clip, the reporting seems to be wrong.

No, Tempe cops aren’t pulling over drivers to give them free stuff. How could they? It can’t possibly be legal for police to detain you if you’ve broken no law. What they’re doing is engaging with non-drivers, i.e. bicyclists and pedestrians, and only by inviting rather than ordering them to chat. This is, in other words, community relations aimed mainly at kids, to encourage conscientious bike-riding habits. If they see little Timmy riding his bike the way he’s supposed to, in the bike lane with a helmet on, they might amble over and treat him to a Mountain Dew.

“The idea behind it is to educate citizens from the youngest to the oldest on traffic laws, bicycle laws, things like that,” Tempe Police’s Det. Greg Bacon said.

Bacon said officers won’t be pulling over drivers, but officers will find opportunities to engage and educate citizens on traffic laws.

“We will be having positive conversations with citizens, say an officer happens to stop somewhere and see somebody, and says ‘Hey would you mind having a conversation with me?’ (to) educate them on bicycle laws and traffic laws,” Bacon said.

I can’t decide if this is a beat a cop would absolutely love or absolutely hate. On the one hand, it’s safe and you get to play Santa all day long for thirsty moppets.

On the other hand, surely no one who signed up to catch bad guys wants to end up on “Mountain Dew duty.”

Here’s a much more accurate report of the new policy. Rest assured, no cop in the United States will be empowered to pull you over to make your day brighter until Marianne Williamson is president.