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Mayor Purzycki, and Chief Tracy Congratulate Graduates of Second Session of the 2022 WPD Youth Police Academy

August 16, 2022

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Chief of Police Robert J. Tracy today congratulated the 19 young men and women who graduated from the second session of the Wilmington Police Department’s annual Youth Police Academy. Due to a record number of applications received for this summer’s program, the WPD added this second session to ensure every applicant was able to participate.

The participants were joined by parents and family members as they were awarded certificates of completion during a ceremony held at the Chase Fieldhouse today, along with members of the Wilmington Police Department’s command staff, Honor Guard, and those officers who assisted during the academy program. Several participants were also recognized with special awards marking leadership, physical fitness, and sportsmanship during the two-week program, which was facilitated at the Police Athletic League of Wilmington from July 18 through July 29. One participant also received a special honor – the Terrence Newton Positive Impact Award – which recognized the consistent effort and positive engagement and carries the namesake of the late principal of Warner Elementary School.

“It is rewarding and encouraging to see this annual program continue to grow, and to hear from participants about how much they learned and gained from the experience,” said Chief Tracy. “I am proud of our team for their efforts to put together such a valuable program for our youth and hope the friendships and mentorships that developed through this program continue.”

The annual 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.

“We should all be encouraged by the continuing interest shown by young people in Wilmington to get to know police officers and to understand more about how they approach their work in the community,” said Mayor Purzycki. “At the same time, these annual sessions are invaluable for our officers to learn more about how young people think and about how they interpret issues and circumstances related to law enforcement. I congratulate the Chief and his team as well as the young residents of Wilmington for coming together for two summer sessions.”

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.

The two sessions of 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 continue its support for the City of Wilmington and important community programs that serve its citizens,” said Don Mell, Delaware Site Lead for JPMorgan Chase. “Programs such as the Youth Police Academy help to bring our community together by building trust between our city’s young men and women and the police officers who serve them.”

More details about this annual program can be found on our website, at