BILLERICA, Mass. — Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian recognized 218 graduates of the 2012 Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) on Friday, July 27.
The ceremony, which recognized children ages 9 through 11, was held at the Middlesex Training Academy in Billerica. It was the fourth week of the eight-week free summer academy. Each week children from two to four communities participate in the program.
Among those who graduated at the conclusion of the fourth week of the academy were more than 20 cadets from the local Armenian community including Koutoujian’s sons, Peter and Christian.
During the graduation ceremony, Koutoujian addressed the cadets about the importance of using what they learned during the weeklong 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, fire fighters and sheriff’s department personnel they met during the week.
Over the course of the week 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.
More than 1,700 children from Middlesex County communities are expected to participate in this year’s Middlesex Sheriff’s Office YPSA program.