POUGHKEEPSIE – With COVID restrictions being eased, the City of Poughkeepsie Police were able to revive their annual “Hooked on Fishing” event on Saturday. The Police Benevolent Association and the Police Athletic League (PAL) held the free event for children at Morgan Lake.
With the support of sponsors including Stewart’s Shops, the Hudson Valley Federation of Sportsmens Clubs, and Rose & Kiernan Insurance, the event featured prizes and light refreshments for the participants. The City of Poughkeepsie firefighters brought a fire engine and ladder truck for the kids to inspect if they wanted.
A local business made a substantial financial donation that allowed the cops to purchase fishing poles to give to children who needed them. The kids were allowed to keep the rods and reels. Officer Katelyn Casey was joined by Officer Mike LaBrada in helping get the poles assembled for distribution to the more than 40 children who lined up for their new gear.
“This is a great thing that the cops are doing for the kids,” said one parent while waiting with her daughter. “It’s nice to see them out here interacting with the community. They are a great bunch.”
“Our officers are out here, once again giving back to the city we serve,” said Detective Chris Libolt, vice president of the PBA. “This event has always drawn a crowd and we’re thankful for the Hudson Valley Federation of Sportsmen for making sure the lake was stocked with trout.”
Eight-year-old Adriella Van Steenburgh of Hyde Park is being credited with catching the most fish, including a few smallmouth bass and a sunfish; everything except the elusive trout that would have won her a trophy. “I’m having a lot of fun,” said the young angler.
State Senator Sue Serino (R, Hyde Park) stopped at the event early in the day to meet the young anglers and thank the police. “The men and women of the Poughkeepsie Police Department go above and beyond with community events like this. It’s really great to see all of the kids smiling,” said Serino.
Detective Libolt hinted that officers Casey and Jerel Yizar might be stepping up to assume the organizing duties for the event next year, due to the retirement of several officers. “We were a bit rusty this year,” said Casey, who added, “next year we will be back to being more organized and we’re going to host a great day of fishing,” said the officer who is an avid angler herself.