MELROSE —  The Melrose Police Department is pleased to announce that 120 children completed the Junior Police Academy this summer after the program was canceled last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

The academy was held at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and consisted of four separate one-week sessions in June and July. The program was free and open to Melrose children in grades four through eight.

“For the past several years, this program has been a summer highlight for the city’s youth and for members of our department. We were so happy to renew this annual tradition and give the children in our community an opportunity to meet the men and women that serve the city each day,” said Chief Michael Lyle. “I would like to thank everyone who made this year’s program possible. It was another great success and we cannot wait for next summer.”

Day-to-day operations of the program were overseen by Sgt. Nikolaus MacIntosh, as well as Officers James Applegate, Alan Brown and Robert Mann.

Detectives Daniel Ehlers, Gregory Forestell, John Goodhue and Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Riordan taught children about cyber safety, drug awareness, crime scene investigations and court system procedures.

Officers Ashley Baldwin, Thomas Grant, Alexander Wilson, Michael Maloney and Andrew Ruby taught children about bicycle safety, including the rules of the road, helmet requirements, police bicycle operations and equipment checks.

Officers Michael Plumber and Brian Trainor taught students about patrol procedures, including operations, equipment and what Melrose officers do every day to keep the community safe. Students also had the opportunity to meet K-9 Officer Nero.

At the academy, junior cadets engaged in a range of physical activities, including calisthenics, running, dynamic stretching and competitive games designed to promote teamwork and test for speed, focus and physical abilities. Physical training activities were led by Officers Alexander Barranco, Travis Nally and Dale Parsons.

Melrose Fire Lt. Brian Moran, Firefighter Meghan Balestraci and Firefighter Iain McGregor taught students about fire safety through classroom discussions and team-building exercises with firehoses and rescue equipment

Additionally, the department awarded Junior Cadets Mimmo Ternullo, Anaca Hodges, and Kevin Burke with the Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Byrne Excellence Award. Each year, this award is given to participants that display the characteristics of leadership, integrity, community, commitment, teamwork and respect. Winners received a certificate of achievement and their names will be added to a plaque that will be displayed in the Melrose Police Department lobby. 

The Junior Police Academy was started in 2014 by Sgt. Byrne along with Officers James Applegate and Alan Brown under the guidance of Chief Lyle. Dozens of former junior cadets assisted as mentors in this year’s program, including several members of the first-ever Junior Police Academy class.

The Melrose Police Department wishes to give a special thank you to the Melrose Police Foundation, Melrose Fire Department, Officer Sean Collier Memorial Fund, Today’s Collision, Petrones Pizza, LCM Plus, A Simple Sassy Design, Middlesex Auto Repair, LaQchara, Pro-Am Embroidery, The Residence at Melrose Station, D&R Paving and Tony Colella Landscaping for sponsoring the program. The Melrose Police also would like to thank the Department of Public Works and Kevin Cronin for their support.

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