More Than 1,000 Youngsters Complete Middlesex Sheriff's 19th Annual Youth Public Safety Academy
Sep 12, 2018 05:58AM
By Bill Gilman
Sheriff Koutoujian congratulates a cadet during a YPSA graduation on Week 5.
CHELMSFORD – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian thanked the cadets, families and community partners involved in the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office 19th Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) this summer. Over 1,300 youngsters applied for this year’s summer camp, with over 1,050 participating.
“YPSA is a true community program – it’s about our kids, our officers and firefighters, and our hometowns,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “I am so happy we could welcome over 1,000 children to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office this year to learn safety skills, challenge themselves and make new friends with classmates and officers alike.
YPSA cadets experience a week full of activities structured around team building, safety education and engagement with law enforcement officials. This year, cadets came from forty-four Middlesex County communities, including Acton, Arlington, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Waltham, Watertown, Wakefield, Westford, Woburn and Wilmington.
Officers and firefighters from many of these communities joined cadets throughout the camp. Several public and private organizations also provided educational resources, including AT&T of Massachusetts, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), and the National Park Service (NPS).
This year, a $23,500 grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) allowed the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to accept an additional 146 cadets from its waitlist as well as hire additional staff.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support of EOPSS and all of the72 public and private organizations who assisted with this year's Academy,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “They truly make YPSA the success that it is, and we hope to have all of them back next summer as we celebrate our 20th year.”
Registration for next year’s YPSA is expected to open in early March, 2019. For information on the Academy and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office’s other community-based programming, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/community.