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42 Cambridge Students Graduate from Cambridge Youth Police and Fire Academies


2019 Youth Police Academy Graduation

42 students graduated from a joint Cambridge Youth Police and Fire Academy graduation ceremony on August 8th. The special festivities concluded the six-week, 120-hour instructional Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program that is designed to expose participating youth, ages 14-18, to the various duties associated with public safety. Overall, 28 students graduated from this year’s Cambridge Youth Police Academy, which celebrated its tenth year, while 14 students graduated from the fourth Cambridge Youth Fire Academy class.

This year’s academies once again included both classroom and hands-on training, while giving students the opportunity to learn about the various roles of officers, firefighters, dispatchers and medical personnel, and also enabling better understanding of technology, procedures and the importance of wellness. Students from the Youth Police Academy took field trips to the Nashua Street Prison, U.S. Coast Guard and a rock climbing facility, while the Fire Academy visited the Massachusetts Fire Academy in Stow and the Mount Auburn Hospital, where they conducted a mock patient transport in conjunction with emergency room staff. Both academies also assisted with community events, including CambridgeSide Run & Ride and National Night Out. 

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Cambridge Youth Police Academy,” said Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. “As a result of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, the City Manager’s Office, many instructors and supporters, hundreds of Cambridge students have had the unique opportunity to gain invaluable experience in the field of public safety. In the event that any of our graduating students are inspired to pursue a career in public safety, like several already have, we will do everything we can to help them achieve that dream.”

“We are hopeful that this program sets the path for our young Cambridge students to embark on an honorable career as Cambridge Firefighters, Police Officers or EMTs,” said Acting Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney. “Over the last six weeks, these graduates participated in a number of exciting opportunities and were surrounded by outstanding mentors, who surely have made a long-standing, positive impression on their lives.”

As part of this year’s ceremony, a number of people were recognized for their contributions. With the Youth Police Academy celebrating its 10th year, the following were among those who were recognized:

  • Four past Youth Police Academy graduates, who went on to become sworn police officers, were recognized during the ceremony, including class of 2011 graduate and active Worcester State Police Officer Rafael Guzman, who was able to attend this year’s ceremony in person. 
  • Lt. Mike Kelley from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office was awarded with a plaque for the contributions the Sheriff’s Office has made to the program over the course of the 10 years.
  • Cambridge Police Officer Oswaldo Ortiz, who has been with the program since its inception, was also recognized for his leadership in developing the program into what it is today.  

The Youth Fire Academy honored Jack Gelinas for his contributions to the academy, as he has played an active role in promoting and recruiting new students through the Fire Department’s social media accounts.

To view photos from the program and graduation ceremonies, please visit the Cambridge Police and Cambridge Fire Department’s Facebook Pages. 

The Cambridge Youth Police and Cambridge Youth Fire Academies are two of the more than 125 different non-profits and government agencies that host more than 1,050 Cambridge teen employees through the city’s Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.  Teens work 20 hours per week for six weeks and participate in youth development workshops, college tours and financial education sessions.

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Cambridge Police Department

Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Police Commissioner

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