The event is aimed to deter kids from experimenting with drugs by promoting the importance of making positive choices. The goal is to keep at risk youth interested in fun recreational activities as an alternative to drug use. The event took place at Fort Snelling State Park on Snelling Lake. For many of the children, this was their very first time ice fishing. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek spoke to the kids about making good decisions and the dangers associated with using drugs.
"We are teaching these kids how to enjoy the great outdoors in Minnesota and we're incorporating a fun experience with a serious message," said Stanek. "We want them to leave here today with more knowledge about how to do the right thing if they are ever offered drugs."
The Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Team assisted the Sheriff with the event. Deputies on the team provide outreach efforts in diverse communities in order to better address public safety concerns and build trust in law enforcement. The team is comprised of Sheriff's Office personnel who meet with community groups and provide public safety instruction.
The Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation (HCSF) in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities has hosted six previous Hooked on Fishing; Not Drugs events, which have all taken place in the summertime. Hooked on Fishing; Not Drugs is a national program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice with support from Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the county. The Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation supports the 120 volunteer special deputies throughout the Sheriff's office while providing programmatic support for youth programs in the community.