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Kids invited to Cast with a Cop fishing tournament
Youth fish with police at Vets Lake
Youths enjoy a morning of fishing with Great Bend Police Department employees during “Cast with a Cop,” Friday at Veterans Lake. - photo by Susan Thacker / Great Bend Tribune

The fish were biting Friday at Vets Lake  – and so were the turtles. Sixteen youths joined employees from the Great Bend Police Department for the first Cast with a Cop fishing tournament.

GBPD Officer Eric Jones coordinated the event at the request of Police Chief Steve Haulmark.

“Our new chief is proactive in the community,” said Jones, who joined the GBPD last September. “We really try to be active with kids.”

Earlier in the week, the department posted a photo on Facebook of uniformed officers supporting two children’s lemonade stand. Chief Haulmark has also obtained sports equipment, donated by Walmart, so that officers carry soccer balls, basketballs and footballs in every patrol vehicle.

Friday's event was open to children 8-14 years old. The officers made sure everyone had plenty of water and bait – making a second trip when they started to run out of worms – and cooked hotdogs for lunch to cap off the day.

Throughout the morning, there were exclamations such as, “I got one!” and stories about the fish that got away.

Three trophies are awarded, Lt. Det. Heather Smith said:

• Daegan Miller caught the biggest fish, a carp that weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces

• Kade Thexton caught the biggest variety of fish: catfish, bass, perch, bluegill and both hard- and soft-shelled turtles

• Luis Orozco caught the most with 24

Local businesses supported Friday’s tournament, Jones said. Identifications provided the trophies, Walmart provided food and Kansas Wildlife and Parks provided fishing tackle.