GLOUCESTER — Registration is now open for the Gloucester Police Department’s new Kops N Kids Youth Anglers fishing program and students are encouraged to sign up.
The Gloucester Police Youth Anglers program is designed to connect officers with young residents in a fun and friendly environment.
Officers will work alongside student participants and help them to bait, cast, hook and release fish off of a Gloucester Police boat. Participants will also learn about fishing conservation and boating safety.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has provided the department with a special license that will allow officers to teach participants about how lobster traps work and give students the opportunity to haul a lobster trap. No lobsters will be harvested.
Fishing will take place from the inner harbor to Ten Pound Island only. To ensure safety, life jackets will be worn at all times. Life jackets will be provided by the department, but students are allowed to bring their own.
“This is a great opportunity for our young residents to connect with our officers and allow them to get to know one another,” said Chief Edward Conley. “Fishing is a perfect way to do this because it is an approachable, common pastime that is fun, while also instilling patience, ingenuity, preparation and humility in all those who take part.”
Weather permitting, the first two trips will take place on Monday, July 19 at 10 a.m. and noon. Trips will occur weekly until the end of the summer. Each trip will last two hours and there will be a maximum of three students per trip.
Student participants should be picked up and dropped off at the Harbormaster’s Office, located at 19 Harbor Loop.
A parent or guardian is encouraged to attend the trip along with their child. One parent per child is permitted to join.
All Gloucester students ages five and above are welcome to sign up.
To sign up, please make an in-person visit to the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit inside Browns Mall, located at 186 Main St or to Three Lantern Marine, located at 7 Parker St. Parents or guardians will be asked to fill out an application and sign a safety waiver.
For those who prefer to sign up virtually, applications and waivers can be emailed to Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro at email@example.com.
Waivers and applications should only be filled out once and are good for the entire summer. Students will be chosen at random to attend the program, but preference will be given to those who do not have experience fishing or boating. If chosen, participants will be notified the week prior.
Fishing and safety equipment will be provided by the Gloucester Police Department.
“This new initiative would not have been possible without Chief Conley and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, who continually support the Community Impact Unit as we find innovative ways to build relationships with the youth,” said Lt. Nicastro. “We live in Gloucester, a community known for its fishing, and each child should have a chance to experience the joy of fishing and hauling a lobster trap, but more importantly this is a way for students to have a unique and positive experience with our officers.”
The Gloucester Police Department would like to thank DMF for donating junior fishing logbooks and educational material, Three Lantern Marine for fishing equipment, Bass Pro Shops of Foxborough for rods, reels and fishing gear, as well as Nelson’s of Gloucester for dry and wet weather gear for the officers and gloves for students. The department would also like to thank Lobsterman Dan Cary for donating a lobster trap, buoy and rope.
For further information about the program, please contact Lt. Nicastro at 978-325-5470.