The police were on patrol on Whitewater Lake Friday morning — they were on the lookout for beaming smiles on the faces of the children they took fishing.
About 35 youngsters met members of the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) on the shore of the Azilda lake to take part in the Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Event, a grassroots program to encourage youngsters to enjoy the benefits of recreational fishing.
"It's an event we host every year where we take area youth out fishing for the day and give them the experience of fishing that they might not have had in the past," GSPS Const. Darren Charbonneau said.
"It's also a good opportunity to speak to the area youth and get to know them a little bit."
Twelve-year-old Dawson Larcher is an avid angler. He said he's been fishing basically every day this summer with his friend, but was eager to join the police on the water.
"I thought it would be fun to go out with the police and fish with them," he said.
On past hunting expeditions, Larcher said he's had interactions with conservation officers — "they stop us to ask if we have our licenses," — but overall, his perception of law enforcement officers is a positive one.
"I think it's going to be fun," he said.
Elizabeth Davis, community co-ordinator for the Louis Street Community Association, said it is always a welcome opportunity to participate in the program.
"It builds a relationship of trust with the officers as well, as the kids kind of see them in a different light," she said. "It makes the officers a little more human to the kids."
It's also the perfect way for the kids to end their summer holidays, she added.
Members of the Ministry of Natural Resources were also on hand throughout the day to promote recreational fishing, as well as to educate the kids on boat safety.
To learn more about Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire, visit www.kidsandcops.ca.