Wilmington Police Department’s annual Youth Police Academy graduates

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The program is designed to build upon the relationship between police officers and the community they serve, while providing younger people in Wilmington with a better understanding of the challenges and responsibilities of police work.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: 24 young men and women graduated from the Wilmington Police Department’s annual Youth Police Academy on Friday July 1, 2022.

The participants, who were joined by parents and family members, were awarded certificates of completion during a ceremony held at the Chase Fieldhouse yesterday, along with members of the Wilmington Police Department’s command staff, Honor Guard, and those officers who assisted during the academy program.

Academy staff also recognized several participants with special awards recognizing leadership, physical fitness, and sportsmanship during the two-week program held at the Police Athletic League of Wilmington from June 20 through July 1. One special honor awarded to a participant was the Terrence Newton Positive Impact Award, recognizing consistent effort and positive engagement and carrying the namesake of the late principal of Warner Elementary School.

“It is wonderful to see how much these young men and women gained from participating in this program, and to hear how much they have learned about law enforcement and community service,” said Chief Tracy. “It is also rewarding to see the friendships they have built with our police officers, who served as their mentors and role models for the past two weeks.”

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After WPD received a record number of applications for this summer’s Youth Police Academy, the department is announcing a second session, which will be held July 18 through July 29. This addition will ensure that everyone who submitted an application will be able to participate in the program.

“The WPD Youth Academy is a fantastic opportunity for young people who are interested in law enforcement, or who may simply benefit from positive interactions with our police officers, to gain first-hand experience about the challenges and rewards associated with police work,” said Mayor Purzycki. “I congratulate all of the graduates and thank the many WPD officials who put this program together each year, as well as JPMorgan Chase for their continued support.”

The program is designed to build upon the relationship between police officers and the community they serve, while providing younger people in Wilmington with a better understanding of the challenges and responsibilities of police work, as well as how law enforcement officers protect and serve Delaware’s largest city. During the course of the academy, participants attended a mock police academy that involved lectures, role-playing, team-building exercises, hands-on activities, presentations, and a field trip.

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The curriculum featured a range of topics, including conflict resolution, fingerprinting, crime scene investigation, drug awareness, traffic and criminal law, building searches, K9 Unit operations, explosive and bomb investigations, physical agility training (push-ups, sit-ups, light calisthenics), first aid, gang awareness, the Juvenile Justice System, arson and fire safety, report writing, and Internet safety. Participants were also able to attend a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game, and received special recognition at Frawley Stadium while enjoying the game with family members and the police officers who ran the academy program.

This year’s Youth Police Academy program received assistance from JPMorgan Chase, which also helps support the WPD’s Learn to Ride program and other initiatives benefitting City residents. Mayor Purzycki and Chief Tracy offered their continued gratitude to JPMorgan Chase for its continuing commitment to Wilmington and the residents and businesses of Delaware’s largest City.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to support important community programs such as the Youth Police Academy,” said Don Mell, Delaware Site Lead for JPMorgan Chase. “Bringing our community together and building trust between our City’s young men and women and the police officers who serve them are critical to Wilmington’s future.”

More details about this annual program can be found on our website, at www.WilmingtonDE.gov/YouthPoliceAcademy.


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