Police officers take grade school kids fishing

LINCOLN COUNTY, MO - As they cast their lines, these officers and young adults are also trying to erase some lines and stereotypes.

“Takes a lot of patience,” says Zachary Piphus, sixth-grade student.

“Have you caught some today?”  Asks Patrick Clark.

“Yes, I have caught three bass,” says Piphus.  “One this big, one this big and one this big.”

Wednesday morning in Lincoln County there were 15 brand new rods and reels from Bass Pro being put to use, and for some, it was the first time ever doing such a thing.

“He was like what if we take some kids fishing and call it cops and bobbers,” says Charlin Hughes, 24:1 Community Resource Coordinator Beyond Housing.

“All the guys laughed at me and said that`s the dumbest best name I ever heard,” says a laughing Clay Farmer, North County Police Cooperative Captain.

Captain Clay Farmer of the North County Police Cooperative came up with the name of the event, Cops, and Bobbers.

Wednesday morning, the 15-grade school students from North County threw back their catches of bluegill, bass, and catfish.

“Any time I get a chance to interact with people who live in the footprint which is the 24:1, all the municipalities that make up the Normandy School District, so I said `I`m down yes,” says Hughes.

“So, all the communities we patrol like Pine Lawn, Wellston, Vinita Park, Dellwood, Velda Village, Beverly Hills and Oakland Park,” adds Farmer.

“So, it`s a combination of eight cities we patrol.”

And on this day the only one that got away was a hot dog that fell through the grill.

“I like the adrenaline rush of pulling in a big fish, holding and catching it.”

“They`ll take these stories back to their friends and families,” says Farmer.  “It will help us change the negative narrative that`s out in society right now when it relates to police officers.  Everybody is not like that some of these guys are actually good and actually care.  Our motto is community first so we like to practice what we preach.”

Fishing on a nice summer day.