DUNKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and several local police departments hosted the first Kids N’ Cops outdoor community event at Jerry P. Combs Lake Saturday. The event was designed to help local children to spend more time outdoors and establish positive relationships with local police officers.
According to Conservation Agent Eric Heuring, the event coordinator, local children were assisted by law enforcement officers as they learned about archery and fishing, and took boat rides on the lake. The children also learned about the dangers of hypothermia while in or around cold water and the importance of using personal flotation devices while boating.
“The weather was amazing and kids of all ages caught many blue gill, crappie and catfish,” Heuring said. “We had a lot of fun together with the children and worked to connect with them. We hope they learned that law officers are here to help and we want them to come to us when they have a problem.”
During the last hour of the event the group enjoyed barbecued hotdogs, chips, watermelon and drinks. Prizes were awarded to the children who caught the biggest fish and the archers who shot the most bullseyes. To conclude, children also participated in a fun competition to clean up the area.
Heuring expressed appreciation to all of the organizations that helped to make the event a success, including the Dunklin and Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Departments, Kennett Police Department, Caruthersville Police Department, Senath Police Department, Steele Police Department, Hayti Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and MDC. The event would not have been possible without a grant awarded by Walmart Supercenter in Kennett and a sponsorship from Sullivan’s Auto, Tire, and Towing in Caruthersville, he said.
“I appreciate everyone that contributed in any way to this event,” Heuring said. “The kids, their families and the officers had a great time together at the lake. I believe that each of the children that attended, left with a greater respect for the environment, gained a new outdoor hobby and had an awe-inspiring experience with an officer in a fun situation.”