Arlington children graduate in 21st year of youth academy

Middlesex County Sheriffs CadetsArlington, Cambridge Middlesex County sheriff's cadets.

UPDATED Sept. 5: The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy returned this summer for a 21st year, following a two-year absence because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over four weeks in July and August, nearly 270 children from 33 Middlesex County communities participated in the camp. In addition to 241 cadets from 8 to 12 years old, the staff also welcomed 27 counselors in training. These 13- to 16-year-olds participate in the camp’s Future Leaders Program.

The academy has been "a staple of summer in Middlesex County for two decades," said Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian in a news release. “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 as counselors or gone on to careers in public safety, education, health care or the military."

Cybersafety, gardening

This summer, in addition to lessons on fire safety, cybersafety 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, the academy added a component on gardening, with cadets able to plant their own seed or seedling to take home. 

Arlington children ages 8 through 12 were among those graduating from the Youth Public Safety Academy’s first session, in July. Koutoujian congratulated 64 graduates on July 15. Other cadets were from Bedford, Burlington, Cambridge, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough.

The academy, established by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office in 1999, focuses on issues such as internet safety, fire preparedness and prevention, and water-safety skills. 

Three additional one-week sessions with participants from across Middlesex County ran through Aug. 5 of this year.

In photo are Koutoujian (back row center), Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, Governor’s Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney, Arlington Fire Chief Kevin Kelley, Arlington Police Capt. Sean Kiernan and representatives of the Arlington and Cambridge police departments with graduates of the academy from Arlington and Cambridge.

To learn more about the academy and other community-based programming, visit

July 13, 2022: Koutoujian joins White House event marking passage of firearms bill

This news announcement was published Thursday, July 21, 2022, and updated Sept. 5. Providing the information was Kevin Maccioli, in Sheriff Koutoujian's office.

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