Hiram – Recently many of Hiram’s law enforcement officers spent their free time fishing together, and they invited kids in the community to join them. The fun-filled day was hosted at scenic Camp Asbury in Hiram, included fishing equipment, bait, and instruction, as well as refreshments and a picnic lunch provided by Haylett’s Corner Store and BP.

According to Hiram Police Chief Brian Gregory, this is the eighth consecutive year that Camp Asbury has hosted the well-loved community event, which was attended by 50 people. This is the eighth year Haylett’s provided refreshments as well. “Police Officers are often shown in a negative light. Our department’s community events held throughout the year show the community that we are no different from anyone else,” he explained. “At events like this, children and their parents are able to ask questions and share stories, while laughing as they watch officers trying to put a slimy worm on a hook for them. It definitely humanizes our profession.”

Gregory continued, “Some officers only have contact with the troubled youth, or when police arrive at a domestic dispute at a  house to remove their mother or father. We’re left dealing with an understandably stressed out, crying child, who may now see the police as their enemy. Events like Fishing with a Cop give us the opportunity to reassure that child, that we are doing our job to protect them from harm.” 

The Hiram Police Department’s yearlong community events culminate with December’s, “Shop with a Cop” program, where officers and children work together to shop for Christmas gifts for the children and their loved ones. “It is very heartfelt, when you see an officer and child laughing together, or teasing each other over stories they shared while shopping together,” he added. “These programs are not just for the community, but for the officers as well. The positive experience makes a world of difference in our lives.”    

Other organizations that helped make the day a success include Buckeye Worm Farm, JAM Apparel & Graphic Design, KIWANIS of Western Reserve, and the ODNR.  “Without your help and support, beamed Chief Gregory, “we could not have had a great event; thank you for your support.” 

Photos courtesy of the Hiram Police Department.