The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) returned this summer for a tremendously successful 21st year, following a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of four weeks in July and August, nearly 270 children from 33 different Middlesex County communities participated in the popular camp. In addition to 241 cadets between the ages of 8-12, the staff also welcomed 27 Counselors in Training (CITs). CITs are youngsters between the ages of 13-16 who participate in the camp’s Future Leaders Program.
“YPSA has been a staple of summer in Middlesex County for two decades,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “It has enhanced safety and built lasting relationships by bringing together children and public safety professionals to talk about team-building, fire safety, emergency preparedness and other crucial lessons in a fun-filled environment. And many of those youngsters who have attended over the years have carried on the lesson they learned by returning to YPSA as counselors or gone on to careers in public safety, education, health care or the military.”
This summer, in addition to lessons on fire safety, cyber safety and emergency preparedness, cadets visited the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica to work on team-building skills and toured local police and fire stations. New this year, YPSA also added a component on gardening, with cadets able to plant their own seed or seedling to take home.
“I am tremendously grateful to our entire MSO team, our counselors and our community and public safety partners for their dedication to this crucial program,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “The visible smiles on the faces of the cadets each week is overwhelming proof of the impact YPSA makes.”
To learn more about YPSA and other Middlesex Sheriff’s Office community-based programming, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/community.