Fish with a Cop creates connections with kids

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Khloe Presgraves’ dream job is to be a cop in a K-9 unit.

A creature of a different kind helped her connect with law enforcement on the bank of the Greencastle Sportsman’s Association lake on Saturday, Sept. 17.

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Sonny Freeman of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission helped young anglers like William Ianno, 7, of Greencastle at Fish with a Cop hosted by the Greencastle Police Department on Sept. 17.

The Clear Spring Middle School student was among more than 30 local youngsters who participated in Fish with a Cop sponsored by the Greencastle Police Department.

A school writing assignment about people who helped after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks drew her to the dogs and handlers who searched the rubble.

“They’ve inspired me so much,” said Khloe, who got a helping hand from Robert Petrunak, a Greencastle police officer and Hagerstown firefighter.

Khloe Presgraves, 11, of Hagerstown got a hand Greencastle police officer Robert Petrunak at Fish with a Cop. The Clear Spring Middle School student’s dream job is to be a K-9 unit cop.

Hoyt Drury, 6, of Greencastle had a simpler reason for attending the event. He wanted to catch a big fish.

“Fishing is fun,” said Nick Bender, 8, of Greencastle, while his 14-year-old brother Nathaniel added, “I wanted to be with my little brother and have some fun.”

Nick Bender, 8, of Greencastle made sure his line was aligned during Fish with a Cop at the Greencastle Sportsman’s Association lake.

While the kids were having fun, they also were getting to know cops and other law enforcement representatives in a good way.

“Kids are our future and we want them to grow up without a fear of law enforcement,” said Michael Myers, a Pennsylvania State Police community service officer. “We want to show them we are people, too.”

Pennsylvania State Police Community Service Office Mike Myers got Landon Kendall, 6, of Greencastle ready to cast his line into the lake at Fish with a Cop on Sept. 17.

Myers wants youngsters to know they can go to police if they need help.

“I love working with kids and I love fishing,” said Greencastle Police Officer Jim Bradley, who has been involved with Fish with a Cop for five years and in charge for four. About 35 kids participated Saturday, the most ever.

Hoyt Drury, 6, Greencastle got a worm from Kyle Fittery of the Greencastle Sportsman's Association during Fish with a Cop on Sept. 17.

“They get to meet law enforcement and see we’re the same as they are. We enjoy it as much as they do,” said Bradley. In addition to Myers and other members of the Greencastle department, he was joined at the lake by Sonny Freeman of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham and volunteers from the sportsman’s association. Rescue Hose Co. EMS also was on the scene.

And Bradley had the support of three generations of his own family — wife P.J., daughter Jamie Musselman and granddaughters Hope Musselman, 19, Lexi Musselman, 16, and Sophie Musselman, 15.

The Greencastle Police Department hosted Fish with a Cop on Sept. 17 and Police Chief John Phillippy helped Matthew Woods, 8, of Greencastle with his bait.

“He recruits us every year. It’s a fun day,” his daughter said.

“I have a lot of thanks to a lot of people,” Bradley said.

Local businesses also provided supplies for the day, including food and prizes, as well as cash donations. Supporters included Keystone Sporting Goods, Mikie’s Ice Cream, Tony’s Pizza, AC&T, Danco, Carl’s Drug Store, AutoZone, Fisher Auto Parts, Sunnway Foods, Larry Faight, Tulpehocken Water and Greencastle Beverage.

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