2017-05-21 / Insight

Deputies bring self-defense training to Lapeer

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com


Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Deputy Ryan Wilcox and Deputy Mariah Fredericks talk about bringing the Rape Aggression Defense program to Lapeer County during a county board meeting Thursday. Sheriff Scott McKenna credited the duo with bringing it to the community. 
Photo by Andrew Dietderich Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Deputy Ryan Wilcox and Deputy Mariah Fredericks talk about bringing the Rape Aggression Defense program to Lapeer County during a county board meeting Thursday. Sheriff Scott McKenna credited the duo with bringing it to the community. Photo by Andrew Dietderich LAPEER — Police officers with the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. are bringing a self-defense training program called Rape Aggression Defense to the entire community.

Sheriff Scott McKenna introduced his department’s efforts to bring the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program to the area at the Lapeer County Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting Thursday.

McKenna credited Deputy Ryan Wilcox and Deputy Mariah Fredericks with leading the way to establish a RAD program in Lapeer County. McKenna said it was part of his commitment to having deputies come up with new ways to serve and protect county residents.

“Deputy Wilcox actually came to me with this idea and knew of this program, and Deputy Fredericks jumped on board immediately,” McKenna said. “I’m really proud of these two because we’ve actually started the training side of it.”

“I think this is going to be a program in our community that will explode,” McKenna said, adding that the training will benefit people of all ages in the area, from students to the elderly.

According to a mission statement on its website, the purpose of RAD is “to establish an accessible, constantly improving and internationally respected alliance of dedicate instructors. These instructors, in turn, will provide educational opportunities for women, children, men and seniors to create a safer future for themselves. In doing this, we challenge society to evolve into an existence where violence is not an acceptable part of daily life.”

Further, RAD is the lone self-defense program endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), National Academy of Defense Education, the National Self- Defense Institute (NSDI) and Redman Training Gear.

RAD currently consists of more than 11,000 instructors who teach at various colleges, universities, and municipal law enforcement agencies. More than 900,000 women have been trained through the RAD program since 1989.

“We can teach it right now as a basic instructor, age 10 and up,” Wilcox told the board. “There’s other training we can do, too. RAD for seniors, for example, a 15-hour course that’s taught over several weeks.”

The basic course takes between nine and 13 hours to complete, Wilcox said.

Wilcox added there’s also a course for young males called RAD for Men, “that gets them to rethink how they think about women.”

Fredericks added the possibility of mother-daughter teams getting trained as pairs “and learn to work together.”

She noted that training isn’t completed in one-day sessions.

“You would split it up between days,” Fredericks said.

County commissioners asked about the possibility of taking the RAD program into schools.

“That’s one thing we want to do,” Fredericks said. “Especially for younger women.”

Wilcox noted that RAD has a “lifetime training” policy, so that those who start training young can continue taking the appropriate level of education and build on their skillset as they age.

More information can be obtained by calling the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. at 810-664-1801.

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