Elgin police catch a few fish in inaugural event with seniors

Maxine Layton said while she often goes fishing, she attended the inaugural Elgin Police Department “Fishing with Seniors” event to socialize with other seniors.

“We have the same aches and pains, joint replacements, all that good stuff,” said Layton, 69, of Gilberts.

She learned to fish as a child, often on the banks of the Fox River in South Elgin. She takes her children and grandchildren out with her to fish when she can, but hasn’t taken her great-grandchildren out yet. “They are too young,” to go out with her yet, she said.

She was one of six area seniors who came out for a recent event at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, a first for the Elgin Police Department, said Officer Kevin Snow.

He and Officer Jonathan Rustay helped to start a program at the Elgin nature center a few years ago, when they asked Randy Reopelle, director of parks and recreation, about using the pond there to fish with area children as part the Resident Officer Program of Elgin summer activities.

Reopelle bought 30 rods and reels, and Rustay and Snow put them together, Snow said.

But now that children have returned to school, it made sense to ask seniors if they’d like to fish with officers, Snow said.

Elgin police have many events with seniors at Senior Services, and community events such as Coffee with a Cop and the Chief of Police’s monthly meeting, Snow said. But there are few events like this — a situation he wanted to remedy, Snow said.

While fishing, the officers also encouraged the seniors to talk and ask questions, or tell the officers if they saw problems they’d like to see addressed.

Bill Decker, 68, said he heard about the event through an email senior liaison Cherie Aschenbrenner sends out to inform them of what is happening in the community. “Our department is very active,” Decker said, adding he likes to attend their events so police know the…

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