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Interim chief stresses family at summer academy graduation

By Anthony F. Irwin

Representatives from several significant community offices gathered to watch 32 students graduate from the Project Access Hermosa Village Sumer Academy – a summer program hosted by the Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation and Project Access. IMG_2230

Topics from the program include conflict resolution, bullying, physical fitness, and communication and interpersonal skills.

In attendance from APD: Interim Chief Raul Quezada, Cpt. Julian Harvey, and Lts. Eric Carter and Alex Orozco. They were joined by AF&R’s Fire Chief Randy Bruegman, and Jeannie Tran – representing Senator Lou Correa’s office.

Interim Police Chief Raul Quezada spoke to the gathering of roughly 60 supporters in both English and Spanish, at one point individually asking a number of graduates what they had learned in the six-week program.

“Respect,” one chimed in.

“English and grammar,” said another.

“How to comb your hair?” asked Quezada, bringing a smile to the spike-haired student.

The interim chief then addressed the group as a whole: “Today is your day, your day to accept your certificates and graduate from the summer program.  Now, look over at Mom and Dad and tell them ‘I love you.’”

In a prior APD junior academy and explorer graduation in June, Quezada similarly requested they tell their parents they love them.  When asked about his message to students and parents alike, he had this to say: “I make it a point to stress family strength in these situations because that’s where it all starts.  A strong family home goes a long way in making our jobs easier.”

It was then time for the students to accept their certificates, one signed at the bottom by Senator Correa, the other from the preschool itself.