The Ardmore, Oklahoma, Police Department on January 5 teamed up with community nonprofit Heroes with Hope of Southern Oklahoma to train local children in basic self-defense tactics to help build their self-esteem.
“This age group is the one that’s more frequently targeted,” Ardmore Police Detective Casey Alsobrook said of the training, which prepares young people for a variety of dangerous scenarios. “Some of these kids are better educated and a little more self-aware, aware of their surroundings and have a little more confidence that if they find themselves in this situation, they have a few tools to help them get to turn loose.”
Heroes with Hope focuses primarily on bringing children together with law enforcement to create opportunities that benefit the public.
“What better people to teach it then the ones that know what they’re talking about,” Heroes with Hope executive director Melissa Woolly said. “With the few I was able to work with, in the beginning they were very bashful, shy or not sure of what to do and by the end of the class they were much more confident that they could do this.”
Class participant Berkley Marris said he learned a lot.
“If you’re in a bad situation, you should do this stuff,” Marris said. “So you don’t get hurt or anything happens to you so you don’t have to go to the hospital, I’ve been wanting to learn it.”
“The first kids self-defense class is done. This was not just fun but a great way for Ardmore Police Officers and Heroes with Hope to interact with kids in our community,” the nonprofit wrote on Facebook after the event.