NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (PIX11) – Fishing poles, a boat and some police officers – that’s the checklist for a fishing trip in New Rochelle.
The annual youth fishing trip hosted by the New Rochelle Police Department aims to build a positive relationship between youth and law enforcement.
Youth Detective Terrence Fudge looks forward to the trip every summer. “This is just to bring police officers and the young people together and a lot of the kids have never been fishing, so it’s fun to come out here and watch them catch their first fish,” Fudge said.
Detective Melissa Diniz and Police Specialist Jose Hued were the other department members to join the children.
New Rochelle children from 10 to 15 years old boarded the Shamrock charter boat from the Fort Slocum Road dock at Neptune Park after shipmates prepared for a fun day on the Long Island Sound.
Once the captain of the boat, Pat Barrett, found the sweet spot in the water, it was time to catch some fish. With encouragement from police, the children caught one after another.
Chelsea Wong-Dunn, 10, even caught two at once! She said she was anxious at first to spend the day with police.
“It was kind of nervous for me, but then I started to get warmed up and it was fine,” Wong-Dunn said.
Every child gets their own fishing pole and can take home a limit of 30 fish that they catch.
Ethan Goldstein, 13, caught over a dozen fish, but he doesn’t plan on bringing any home. He’s been fishing on this trip in the past.
“I usually give it to one of my friends on the boat or give it to someone else who may want it,” Goldstein said. “I don’t really eat fish that much.”
They are mostly catching porgies, but one child caught a sea robin.
The day also introduces the children to other kids who live in New Rochelle. Barrett, the Shamrock’s captain, said these trips with police have been happening since the 1970s.
“I just hope that they will remember a fun day out on the water, catching a fish, maybe catching more than one fish, and just experiencing everything that Long Island Sound has to offer to them,” Barrett said.
The children got a break for lunch before getting to fish again. The boat traveled to the other side of the sound and docked near Port Washington.
There was also an appearance from the police department’s harbor unit with the Manhattan skyline in the back.
At the end of the day, the shipmates scaled the fish so they were ready to be taken home.
On average, there are about 200 to 250 fish caught per trip, so many families will have fresh fish for dinner.
There are still three days left for the program which will take place on July 6, 7 and 13. To sign up your child, you must do so a week before the trip and fill out a permission slip at the New Rochelle Headquarters at 475 North Avenue.