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Wilmington Unveils Plans for 2024 Youth Public Safety Academy

Updated April 16, 2024
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Wilmington’s leadership, including Mayor Mike Purzycki, Police Chief Wilfredo Campos, and Fire Chief John Looney, have officially opened applications for the eagerly awaited 2024 Youth Public Safety Academy. The program, supported by JPMorgan Chase, will run from June 17 to June 28, welcoming youths aged 13 to 17 to a comprehensive, two-week public safety training experience.

This free initiative is not just an educational opportunity—it’s a deep dive into the world of public safety, held daily from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, complete with meals provided. With limited spaces available, prospective participants are encouraged to secure their spot promptly by applying before the May 15 deadline at WilmingtonDE.gov/YouthAcademy.

The academy builds on the successes of previous years, merging the efforts of the Wilmington Police and Fire Departments to offer a holistic look at public safety roles. “We are excited to again offer this wonderful program, and to give youth in our community the chance to meet and learn from our first responders,” said Police Chief Campos. “Our free two-week academy is packed with opportunities to learn, engage and explore career possibilities in public safety and public service.”

Echoing this sentiment, Fire Chief Looney highlighted the academy’s role in promoting positive interactions between teenagers and public safety officials. “The academy is an excellent means of providing teenagers with a multifaceted approach to learn about careers in public safety. The academy provides teenagers a positive interaction with police officers and firefighters as role models and mentors.”

Participants will engage in a variety of activities designed to challenge them physically and mentally. The curriculum includes mock drills, crime scene analysis, drug awareness programs, and even discussions on the juvenile justice system, offering a comprehensive view of the demands and duties of public safety professionals.

Mayor Purzycki expressed his admiration for the dedication of young individuals aspiring to public service roles. “The teens who participate in the combined Youth Public Safety Academy have much to learn from the fine men and women who are already committed to these noble professions. At the same time, this session is invaluable for our officers and firefighters to learn more about how young people think and about how they interpret issues and circumstances related to safety.”

Gratitude was also extended to JPMorgan Chase for their continued support. Don Mell and Jeff Pilla, representatives from JPMorgan Chase, reiterated their pride in contributing to a program that not only educates but also inspires Wilmington’s youth. “At JPMorgan Chase we are proud to once again support both the WPD and the WFD. The Youth Public Safety Academy offers our city’s youth a hands-on opportunity to engage with first responders and learn about the important work they do, and we hope this experience might inspire some to pursue a career in public service,”

For additional information or to apply, interested parties can contact Sgt. Brian McCanney at Brian.McCanney@cj.state.de.us or call (302) 388-1470.

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