Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian recognized 189 Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) cadets from Watertown, Acton, Malden, Maynard and Newton during a graduation ceremony Friday, Aug. 3 at Chelmsford High School. Thirty-five of the graduating cadets were from Watertown.
During the course of the week, the cadets participated in team building exercises, learned fire and personal safety skills and enjoyed educational games. They also spent time with members of the MSO staff and their local police and fire departments.
“Year after year, YPSA is one of the most well-received community outreach programs we run,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “It’s a great opportunity to build relationships between youngsters, the MSO and our public safety colleagues in fun-filled, educational settings.”
“YPSA is a great program, and a fantastic way to connect our youth and public safety professionals in a safe and positive atmosphere,” said Police Chief Michael Lawn. “The lessons learned during the week are things that the kids will always remember.”
“We love interacting with the cadets at the Youth Public Safety Academy,” said Fire Chief Robert Quinn. “All the cadets get a taste for what it takes to be a real-life firefighter, from operating a hose line, using our infrared camera, touring the station and seeing the operations of the aerial ladder. It gives us great pleasure to interact with potential future firefighters and let them know what a rewarding career choice this is.”
The ceremony marked the completion of the first week of the six-week summer program. YPSA is now in its 19th year and is open to youngsters ages 8-12 living in Middlesex County. Hundreds of cadets from more than three dozen communities are scheduled to participate this summer.
To learn more about YPSA and some of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office other community-based programming, visit middlesexsheriff.org/community