GIRARD – Area kids will be encouraged to get hooked on fishing instead of drugs or violence during the 11th Annual Cops 'n Bobbers event on Tuesday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Pond on Pleasant Dale Road in Girard. The event is being held for children six to ten years old from the Macoupin County area, and is sponsored by Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Illinois Secretary of State Police Lodge # 95 and the Illinois Law Enforcement Education Foundation.

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“The goal of the event is for these kids to have a fun, interactive and positive time with police officers and to learn an alternative recreational activity to drugs and violence,” said event coordinator Wally Horrighs of FOP Lodge 95. “Fishing is a sport where youth can feel a sense of immediate accomplishment regardless of their age, sex, physical or mental capabilities. It also teaches discipline, conservation, self-reliance and patience.”

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Youth who have been invited to participate will receive fishing poles to use during the event, which they can then take home with them to enjoy fishing in the future. Participants will be taught the basics of fishing by Illinois Department of Conservation staff, and then the kids can get their hooks wet and catch some fish. Local, county and State Police officers from the area will volunteer their time to help make the event truly memorable for the participating children. The Cops 'n Bobbers event will also feature demonstrations by bomb and arson dogs from the Illinois Secretary of State Police.

The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers - more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit for more information.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Education Foundation is a not-for-profit educational and charitable organization chartered in 2004. The organization was created to enhance the educational opportunities of Illinois law enforcement officers, as well as educate the public about issues that are important to both. The organization and its programs are funded through private and public grants and donations.

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