Tacoma police and firefighters Thursday evening celebrated the graduation of nearly two dozen middle schoolers from the city’s first youth academy.
The academy concept came out of Project Peace, a city project to improve relations between Tacoma city employees and the residents they serve.
“It’s important for us both as police officers and firefighters to be out and get to know you, get to show you what we do for a living, in the hopes that someday you want to be a police officer or firefighter,” Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell told the graduates.
The five weeks of classes taught 12- to 14-year-olds the basics of everything from fire safety to forensics, while also featuring a session on school safety.
“Thank you for your involvement and how excited you were about this program and all the energy you put into it,” Tacoma Fire Chief James Duggan told the graduates. “And I also want to thank your family members and your parents and supporting you in doing this.”
The graduation was held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hope Center, 3875 S. 66th St.
Staff photographer Dean J. Koepfler contributed to this report.
Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627