Students at several area school districts recently completed awareness training conducted by local police departments.
Clinton Police Officer Mike Bennett developed the awareness training curriculum in LeRoy and has since brought it to Clinton and Blue Ridge. Officer Bennett indicates that while there is some self-defense taught, the curriculum is more structured towards being aware of your surroundings.
The fact that it can happen to you is stressed throughout the awareness training according to Officer Bennett. The awareness training is a three day program that starts in seventh grade and carries on through high school. The program is primarily for girls, but the awareness and mindset portion is for both boys and girls.
Officer Bennett indicates that the program has a "building block approach" to it. The junior high program is more basic, while the high school program adds on to the skills taught in junior high.
Officer Bennett believes that one of the greater outcomes of the awareness training is the involvement of the administration. He says that the students get to build relationships with the administrators on a more personal level.
A former student was able to use the techniques taught in the class to defend herself and fend off her attacker. Officer Bennett says that that incident has proven the worth of the program. Bennett also leads awareness training programs in LeRoy and Blue Ridge schools as well.