You might say a certain number of Houston police officers have “palled around” with area school kids in such activities as bowling, movies, skating, video arcades – and, now, fishing trips!
During spring break – Wednesday, March 16, to be specific – 14 PAL officers/mentors invited 28 area students to fish on the pond at the L. D. Morrison Police Academy.
Senior Police Officer Racquel Alexander, who put together the event for all of her PALs, described the second annual PAL fishing extravaganza as a super success.
“They had a good time,” Alexander said, “but, most importantly, they were able to connect with the police officers on a different level other than being in trouble with the law. It was a positive interaction with the police.”
Yes, it was the latest in regularly scheduled activities organized by the Police Activities League (PAL), which is headed by Sgt. Letricia Brown.
Sgt. Brown has PAL officers at every HPD station. These great “pals” are known to turn out in droves at times like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now you can add a great fish story to the record.
Officer Alexander said 14 different PAL officers chose two kiddos from their PAL groups, resulting in a fishing party of about 42 people. The fishing proteges ranged in age from 8 to 18. Alexander said that “two kids per officer” was a safety precaution “around water.”
The officer is assigned to North Belt DRT and credited her commander, Steven Spears, for the idea of a fishing trip.
“The idea stemmed from him because he loves to fish,” Alexander said with a laugh.
Each HPD station has at least one PAL officer. ‘We go inside the schools. We mentor kids inside the schools. We are involved in different school programs and partner with Parks and Recreation to put together summer camps at some of their parks.
“We also do coaching – basketball, soccer and flag football.”
The fishing trip culminated with Domino’s pizza at the academy cafeteria. The Houston Police Officers Union footed the pizza bill. The rods and reels were donated by Walmart and will be kept for use in next year’s fishing trip during spring break.
Now, all we need to complete this report is a great fish story.
Each PAL participant caught three or four catfish, each weighing about eight pounds. They then had catfish pizza and took some home in doggie bags.
Okay, it’s a typical fish story. You can believe it or not.