Fun for cops & kids alike, the Cops & Bobbers program is back

Officer Keith Mortensen remembers exactly how fun it was to catch a fish as a kid.

That memory is just one of the reasons he’s passionate about Cops & Bobbers, a weekly summer youth fishing program he heads, which is back in 2021 after it was halted the previous year due to coronavirus.  The program is a police effort to build relationships with children in the community, and their families.

“It gives them a healthy outdoor activity, gets them off the Xbox, off YouTube,” Mortensen said.  “It teaches them something they can do their whole life.”

The program meets every Wednesday through August 11th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the fishing dock at Lion’s Park.  Up to 25 young anglers are welcome each week, and often get free lunch.

Mortensen said the fire department has also been invited to the event to teach about water safety in light of the recent uptick in drownings in the state.

Kids will learn fishing skills such as hook baiting, casting lines, and catching fish.  They’ll also get a close-up look at police squad cars, fire trucks, and a water patrol boat.

“It’s fun to see the excitement in their eye,” said Mortensen.  “Especially for the ones who have never fished.”