BRYANT, Ark. — Bryant police have offered up a rod, reel, and one-on-one time to bridge a gap between kids and officers in the community.
A trip to Bishop Park’s Lake Charles is not a typical one for some kids at the Bryant Boys and Girls Club.
"The police go with us and fish with us,” said Parker Kocsis. “They protect us.”
Bryant Police Department partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and started a mentorship program for young boys.
"This is a good program to reach out to kids, that a lot of them don't get to do,” said Todd Crowson, with Bryant PD.
Of course the boys are learning the ins and outs of fishing, baiting their hook, casting their line, and reeling in the big ones. But, the conversations on the water's edge go much deeper.
Crowson said some of the little fishermen have started to open up about life and tell him how tough it can be without guidance.
"We let them know that there's better things out there and not to give up,” he said. “We learn about them. We remember them by name. Those things are important. Mom and dad may not be to blame on that. Sometimes they work and they've got to do what they've got to do."
Evan Hill is just one kid who’s learned a lot about life on the dock.
“I’ve learned to be good to others, being kind, being the way you want to be treated,” said Hill. “Getting to go with the police is special, because not a lot of kids get to do that."
The Boys & Girls Club in Bryant offers many other mentoring-based programs like yoga, cooking classes, and learning to play musical instruments.