MCLEAN COUNTY, N.D. - Law enforcement is always looking for ways to connect with the community it serves.
The Cops N Kids Fishing Derby is hosted by the Police Youth Bureau to interact with children.
It's a tradition that has been around for decades. Many of the people that participated say it's great to have kids around so they can see law enforcement in a different light.
Making waves to connect to children.
"Say hi to a police officer, you know? And get to know them. We're humans too," said Clint Fuller, Bismarck officer.
Children of all ages having a "fin-tastic" time.
"It's exciting," said Wytt Hinnelspach, fourth grader.
Nine-year-old Wytt became a "reel" fisherman.
"Caught one fish which was a Northern," said Hinnelspach.
He's "gill-ty" of catching the longest of its kind during the derby.
"29 inches long," said Hinnelspach
Other kids have been "hooked" with the event for years.
"Most of them are my biggest inspiration now for why I go to the goals I have," said Morgan Ohlhauser, 9th Cops N Kids event.
She says "any-fin" is possible with positive mentorship.
"O-fish-al's" say the event was dedicated to former Bismarck Deputy Chief Myron Heinle, who passed away several months ago.
"Great guy. Very personable. You could always talk to him. He cared deeply about the department and definitely about this event. [His] family donated money so we could have this event today. So in honor of him we're having it. So it's a really great thing to do," said Fuller.
An afternoon out on the water to build relationships to last a lifetime.
The officers say their favorite part was seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.