Cops and Bobbers
Clintonville police build community connections
By Bert Lehman
Fourteen youths participated in the first Cops and Bobbers event hosted by the Clintonville Police Department.
The event was held to help promote communication between the department and the community.
At the June 3 event, children ages 8-17 went fishing with Clintonville police officers.
“We had good weather and everyone was excited to be at the event,” said Officer Joe LeBreck, who also helped organize the event. “Some caught more fish than others but everyone seemed to have fun and enjoyed spending time with the officers and dispatchers.”
Children had the option of fishing from the shoreline, or from two boats or two pontoons.
“Most of the kids wanted to fish from the boats and pontoons and others wanted to stay on shore,” LeBreck said. “This worked out well as the kids got to pick whichever made them comfortable. Members of the Pigeon Lake District donated the use of their personal boats and pontoons for this event. Not only did they let us use them they also donated their time to drive them so officers and dispatchers could focus on the kids. This partnership was great, the Pigeon Lake District didn’t hesitate to get on board and the members were outstanding. Having the boats were great. The Wisconsin DNR also came with a boat and two game wardens for the event.”
Prior to the event, LeBreck said some of the kids had never been fishing before, so it was a good learning experience for them.
“One of the kids told an officer that she always wanted an older brother to teach her this stuff,” LeBreck said. “She really made a connection with the officer and dispatcher she was fishing with. She really wants to come to the other events we will be hosting.”
LeBreck added that the kids who participated were excited to hear about future events the police department will host this year.
Fun event for kids and cops
Members of the Clintonville Police Department who participated in the event had fun and were happy to be part of the event, LeBreck said.
“Some have never been able to participate in an event like this so it was great for them to interact with the kids in a positive way,” LeBreck said. “The officers and dispatchers who participated in the event came in on their off time for the event. This was not a normal day for officers and dispatchers, no paperwork, 911 calls or issuing citations.”
He added, “After the event, staff members were still talking about how much fun they had and about the connections made with the kids.”
Parents were also happy with how the event unfolded, LeBreck said.
“The parents were excited for the kids to get to meet the officers and dispatchers and get to know each other,” he said.
LeBreck said the Cops and Bobbers event met the expectations the department had for it.
“With this being the first time hosting this event you never know what the turnout will be,” LeBreck said. “We were happy with the number of kids we had. Each of the kids got to go home with a goody bag donation by Fleet Farm of Clintonville.”
With the success of the event, LeBreck said the police department plans to host it again next year in an effort to make it an annual event.
Other events planned by the Clintonville Police Department for this year include Badges and Bulls Eyes (archery), Gutter Busters (bowling), and Cops and Curling.
“The cost to host the events and the equipment for the events are paid for from a three-year grant from the Cops and Kids Foundation,” LeBreck said. “The Cops and Kids Foundation provides police departments with the tools and funding necessary to implement the community service programs. The police department has also received donations as part of the Community Policing Fund and is raising funds with a golf outing later this summer.”