Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, Chief of Police Wilfredo Campos, and Chief of Fire John Looney joined together to celebrate the graduation of 27 participants in the Youth Public Safety Academy. The ceremony was held at the Community Education Building. Family members, loved ones, as well as members of the police and fire departments were in attendance.
Over the course of two weeks, the academy provided a comprehensive program for kids ages 13 to 17. Participants engaged in a mock police and fire academy. It included role-playing, team building exercises, hands-on activities, presentations, field trips, and physical fitness training.
Chief Campos expressed his excitement, initially saying, “We are thrilled to celebrate the graduation of this year’s Youth Public Safety Academy. It was a pleasure getting to know the participants and educating them about different aspects of public safety and public service. We are grateful for the partnership of the Wilmington Fire Department and the dedicated staff from both agencies who made this year’s academy a success.”
Chief Looney also added, “The past two weeks have been an incredible experience for all the young men and women. They were introduced to many facets of our noble professions. The partnership between Wilmington Fire and Wilmington Police showcased our shared core values of professionalism, dedication, perseverance, respectfulness, and service to others.”
The academy’s curriculum covered various topics including, but not limited to:
- conflict resolution
- crime scene investigation
- fire safety
- drug awareness
- traffic and criminal law
- building searches
- K9 unit operations
- explosive & bomb investigations
- physical agility training
Mayor Purzycki also commended the Youth Public Safety Academy. He stated, “It offers a fantastic opportunity for young people interested in public service or those who can benefit from positive interactions with our dedicated police officers and firefighters. They gain firsthand experience about the challenges and rewards associated with being a first responder in the City of Wilmington. I congratulate all the graduates and extend my thanks to the WPD, WFD officials, and community partners for their continuous support of our youth.”
Furthermore, the academy received support from various partners, including the Police Athletic League of Wilmington. Additionally, City Council President Ernest “Trippi” Congo and the team at ShopRite of Christina Crossing provided meals for each participant.
JPMorgan Chase also contributed to the program by outfitting participants with t-shirts, hats, and other materials to enhance their experience.
Don Mell, Delaware Site Lead at JPMorgan Chase, also emphasized the importance of supporting the city’s youth. He then stated, “We at Chase are proud to support programs like the City’s Youth Public Safety Academy, which help strengthen and unify our community.”
The graduation ceremony thus marked the successful culmination of the Youth Public Safety Academy. This event reflects the dedication of Wilmington’s officials, community partners, and organizations in fostering a safer, and therefore more engaged city for its future generations.