Law enforcement officers mentor kids during Fish with A Cop in Greencastle

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Twenty-one local youngsters learned a few things about fishing and got to know some local law enforcement officers on the banks of the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake on Sept. 11.

"It's a fun time ... anything you can do with kids," said Greencastle Police Officer Jim Bradley, who organized the fourth annual Fish with A Cop outing. "I get to give back to the community. That's one of the reasons I became a police officer."

More than 20 kids joined representatives of the Greencastle Police Department, Franklin County Juvenile Probation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for Fish with A Cop on Sept. 11 at the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake.

The day gave the kids an opportunity for positive interaction with Greencastle police officers, Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham, representatives of Franklin County Juvenile Probation and Kyle Wirick, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's new waterways conservation officer for the south-central region.

Chris McGarity was among the Greencastle police officers who participated in Fish with a Cop on Sept. 11.

The goal of Fish with A Cop is to introduce young people to local law enforcement officers to help them see police in a different light and build lasting positive relationships while making memories.

Bradley said he hopes to also groom some future police officers.

Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student Haven Bowers, 11, was well-equipped for the fourth annual Fish with A Cop on Sept. 11 at the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake.

Haven Bowers, 11, didn't look like she had a whole lot to learn as she came equipped with her own gear, including a giant tackle box.

"I always liked to fish and like to go to the carnival and take pictures of cops," said Haven, who heard about the day on Greencastle-Antrim Middle School announcements.

Lucas Little, 7, of Chambersburg wore his lucky fishing hat when he and his sister, Hadley Little, 9, participated in Fish with A Cop on Sept. 11.

Lucas Little, 7, of Chambersburg was wearing his lucky fishing hat and planned to catch a catfish. He and his sister, Hadley Little, 9, are the children of Greencastle Borough Manager Emilee Little and go fishing as a family.

Dustan Fahrney, 9, of Greencastle learned about the event from his mom.

"My dad told me about it. He said I could learn a few things about fishing," said Nathaniel Bender, 13, of Greencastle.

His brother, Billy Bender, 12, joked, "I'm here for the free food, of course."

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Not only were the youngsters treated to lots of free food during the day of fishing, but none of them left empty-handed. Each received a starter tackle box and a goodie back and other fishing gear was awarded as door prizes, according to Bradley, who thanked businesses that made donations.

Participants learned about skills, equipment, techniques and safety of freshwater fishing in Pennsylvania while being mentored by the officers.

Kyle Wirick, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's new waterways conservation officer for the south-central region, used posters to help kids identify fish during the fourth annual Fish with A Cop on Sept. 11 at the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake.

"I'd rather see people fishing that meet them on a bad day as a street cop," said Wirick, who was surrounded by kids as he as he displayed posters of various kinds of fish.

"I like cops and I like going fishing," said Ava Heck, 11, of Chambersburg.

Ava Heck, 11, of Chambersburg said, 'I like cops and I like going fishing' at Fish with A Cop in Sept. 11 the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake.

"We're here to support law enforcement, be proactive with kids and promote positivity," said Erin Kramer, a juvenile probation officer.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com