Residents gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park for a day of fishing during the Pine Bluff Police Department Fishing Derby last Saturday. The annual event brings together law enforcement, community leaders and citizens, according to PBPD Lt. Hosea Thompson.

“It shows that we can all get along and work together for the community,” he said. “It shows that we’re just not out arresting people and that we are actually here to help and actually give the community back something.”

Thompson says the friendly fishing competition between city officials leads to members of the department cleaning and cooking the fish for everyone to enjoy.

“Alderman (Joni) Alexander came in first place for the most fish, Alderman (Ivan) Whitfield came in second place and Rev. Fisher came in third place for the most fish caught,” he said. “First place went to Mr. Fisher for the biggest fish, second place went to Mayor (Shirley) Washington and third place was Ms. Ledell.”

Essie Cableton brought her great-grandchildren— Zavery Smith, Aubrey Smith, Xavier Smith and Ave’ronna Smith— who she insists love to fish to the derby.

“We fished and we had fun,” said 10-year-old Zavery Smith. “We had a good time.”

It was a day of family-friendly outing for the Adams clan. Leslie Adams says outside of the event, her family typically doesn’t fish, so she couldn’t pass up the chance for them to get in on the festivities.

“It’s something for the boys to do to get them off the iPhones and gaming systems,” she said, smiling.

Jerrid Smith caught multiple fish during the derby, according to his mother Leslie Adams. It’s the second year in a row she’s brought her son to participate in the fishing tournament.

“He’s obsessed with fishing,” she said. “He tries to attend every derby.”