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Wilmington Police Department and Wilmington Fire Department Unveil 2024 Youth Public Safety Academy

April 15, 2024

The complimentary two-week initiative, orchestrated by police and fire authorities, aims to acquaint youth with the public safety field while fostering relationships.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, along with Chief of Police Wilfredo Campos and Chief of Fire John Looney, announced today the launch of applications for this summer’s Youth Public Safety Academy, slated to run from Monday, June 17, to Friday, June 28, with support from JPMorgan Chase.

The 2024 Youth Public Safety Academy, open to youth aged 13 to 17, will run Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This free program includes breakfast and lunch for participants and has limited class sizes. Applications can be submitted online at until 5 p.m. on May 15.

Building on the success of previous WPD Youth Police Academies and last year’s Youth Public Safety Academy, this year’s program will again be a joint venture with the Wilmington Fire Department. The aim is to strengthen relationships between the city’s public safety professionals and the community while providing young people with insights into the roles and responsibilities of police officers and firefighters.

File Photo: 26 Wilmington Police Department Youth Academy cadets graduated after successfully completing their two week training Friday, July 23, 2021, at the Chase Field House in Wilmington, DE.


Participants attended mock police academy involving lectures, role-playing, team-building exercises, hands-on activities, presentations, and a field trip. In addition, there will also be a physical training component. Photo by Saquan Stimpson


Police Chief Campos expressed enthusiasm for the program, highlighting its opportunities for learning and career exploration in public safety and public service. Fire Chief Looney echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the positive interaction between teenagers and first responders.

Participants will engage in a mock police and fire academy, featuring role-playing, team-building exercises, hands-on activities, presentations, field trips, and physical training. The curriculum covers various topics, including conflict resolution, crime scene investigation, fire safety, drug awareness, traffic and criminal law, K9 Unit operations, first aid, gang awareness, arson investigations, report writing, and internet safety.

Mayor Purzycki commended the initiative, noting the valuable learning experiences it offers both young people and public safety personnel. He thanked Chief Campos, Chief Looney, and their teams for their efforts and encouraged city youth to seize this opportunity.

JPMorgan Chase’s support for the academy was acknowledged by Mayor Purzycki, Chief Campos, and Chief Looney, who expressed gratitude for the continued commitment to Wilmington’s residents and businesses.

Don Mell, State Lead, and Jeff Pilla, Wilmington Site Manager for JPMorgan Chase, reiterated the company’s pride in supporting the WPD and WFD. They highlighted the academy’s hands-on approach to engaging with first responders and inspiring youth to pursue careers in public service.

For inquiries about the youth police academy, individuals can contact Sgt. Brian McCanney at or (302) 388-1470.