City Times Times
The Portage County Deputy Sheriffs Association once again has entered into a partnership with the Stevens Point Elks Lodge 641 to expand the “Cops and Bobbers®” program, which annually offers children and their parents the opportunity to enjoy a free day of fishing with local law enforcement officers.
The program allows local children to have a positive experience with law enforcement officers and to learn a recreational pastime that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.
As the program has continued to grow over the last eight years, so have the expenses needed to allow it to continue.
“We are so thankful that the Stevens Point Elks Lodge and other sponsors again have agreed to generously help support our efforts to facilitate positive relationships with the community,” said Deputy Eric Koepsell, community resource officer for the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.
Koepsell, along with Plover Police Officer Seth Pionke started Cops-n-Bobbers in 2008.
The Stevens Point Elks Lodge has awarded a $2,000 grant to assist with the expenses of this program, along with the assistance from its lodge members, who will work side by side with the officers from the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Stevens Point Police Department, Plover Police Department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in providing instruction, helping to cook the lunch provided, coordinating registrations, and in making sure the event runs smoothly and safely.
The program, held at Bukolt Park, is a unique fishing experience where children ages 4-13 and their parents can enjoy a day of fishing with their local law enforcement officers.
“Building bonds between children and their parents is important, so each child will have a parent or guardian with him/her,” Koepsell said in a news release. “The program gets kids “hooked” on fishing, not drugs or violence.”
June 4 is free fishing weekend, so no fishing license is required.
Bait and some equipment will be available for use, or children are welcome to bring their own equipment to use.
The time for the catch and release tournament-style program will be from 9 AM to 11 AM, with lunch and prizes to follow. Registration begins at 8:30 AM.
There will be no cost to the children or their parents for the program, and all participating children will receive a t-shirt.
Anyone interested needs to register by May 20 by calling (715) 346-1425 or by contacting Koepsell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pionke at email@example.com. Interested residents should provide their name, contact information, number of attendees, equipment needed and shirt sized for children.