Opposites Attract: Cops, Troubled Teens Go Fishing

Updated: 07/11/2014 5:16 PM
Created: 07/11/2014 4:18 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

A group of troubled teens spent Friday afternoon fishing out on an area lake with members of law enforcement.

In more ways than one, Friday represented a first for 16-year-old Eric Bronson. He had never fished or been on a boat before, and he had certainly never hung out with a police officer before, at least not like this.

"I had made a mistake," Bronson said. "Then they put me in a group called ELC."

ELC is short for "Evening Learning Center." Participants in the program are typically on probation. It aims to get teens like Eric, and 16-year-old Jeremiah Anderson, on the right track.

"It's about helping you get better, to do better," said Anderson.

That's how the pair ended up in a fishing boat on Bald Eagle Lake with a police officer leading the way. It's part of the Neighborhood House Fishing Tournament.

"A lot of times our youth fear officers, and sometimes our officers might fear some of our youth," explained Neighborhood House's Enrique "Chacho" Estrada, one of the event's organizers. The hope is that the tournament changes the perception the teens and police officers have of each other.

The truth is, the teens and the cops got a long really well. As Eric put it, "when you actually get to know a person or actually get a little connection going, like me and Mike here, then you could actually have a fun time with a cop."

So yes, it turns out opposites really do attract, but unfortunately, the anglers weren't able to attract many fish.

Law enforcement hosted a fishing tournament to help guide teens on the right track.
Photo: KSTP/ Jim O'Connell

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