The following information was provided by the Middlesex Sheriff's Office:
Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian proudly recognized the Cambridge, Newton, Waltham and Watertown graduates of the 2012 Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) on Friday, August 24, 2012.
The ceremony, which recognized some 146 children ages 9-11, was held at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Training Academy in Billerica. Of those who attended the academy this week, 42 cadets were from Cambridge, 25 were from Newton, 47 were from Waltham and 32 were from Watertown.This is the 13th year of the free academy.
The eight-week academy is funded through revenues generated by the sheriff’s civil process division. Each week, youngsters from 2-4 communities attend the academy with a graduation ceremony each Friday.
“These are eight of the very best days I get to spend each year,” said Koutoujian of the graduations.
During Friday’s graduation ceremony, Sheriff Koutoujian addressed the cadets about the importance of using what they learned during the week-long camp to help keep themselves and others safe. He also talked to them about teamwork, self-esteem and role models, pointing to their parents, as well as the police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s department personnel and elected officials they met during the week.
While discussing role models and heroes, Sheriff Koutoujian specifically talked about the heroic actions of six Cambridge police officers who rushed into a burning home early Thursday morning to save three people. He also talked about three Cambridge firefighters who sustained injuries battling the fire.
Over the course of the week-long academy cadets were taught basic first aid skills and fire safety, participated in team-building exercises, were able to tour their local police and fire departments and took part in a series of demonstrations.
Friday’s graduation ceremony was attended by police and fire officials, as well as by elected and appointed leaders from the communities.
A record 1,700 children from nearly 30 Middlesex communities are participated in this year’s Middlesex Sheriff’s Office YPSA progra