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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 31, 2008

ISO worker contributes by recycling wire
Police teach women to protect themselves from attack

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Scott MaLossi has made a useful contribution out of materials he saw going to waste. He hopes it will raise “good social consciousness.”

On Friday, he donated $150 to the Guilderland Police Department for a program that teaches women to defend themselves against attack.

MaLossi is a test specialist with the New York Independent System Operator, working out of the facility on Carman Road. NYISO operates the state’s bulk electricity grid. MaLossi works in telemetry, doing the calibration of meter readings.

“We were cleaning out, and about to throw away spools of wire. They said, ‘Just toss it in the Dumpster.’  I said, ‘This isn’t right,’” he recalled.

MaLossi asked if he could take the wire to a recycler.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” quipped MaLossi. The recycler wouldn’t take the wire on the spool, so he spent hours of his own time, unwinding 2,000 feet of wire.

He got permission from NYISO to recycle the wire, MaLossi said, as long as he donted the proceeds to “a worthy cause.”

He knew immediately where he wanted to donate the funds. His 26-year-old niece works in Schenectady as a substance abuse counselor. She parks in the same garage where a woman was raped.

“She was petrified,” said MaLossi.

After his niece took the three-session Rape Aggression Defense training, taught by Guilderland Police, she felt confident and was no longer so afraid, he said. “The officers in padded suits are getting pummeled,” he said.

“It changed her,” said MaLossi “She came out a much more self-assured person.”

MaLossi, who has had self-defense training himself, said, “You can spend a lot of money doing that. They don’t charge,” he said of the Guilderland Police. “The officers volunteer their time to do it. It’s an exceptional cause.”

“Just for women”

Officer Nick Ingle accepted the donation from MaLossi. Ingle is a fit- looking 42 and has been with the Guilderland Police for 13 years.

He said Guilderland started teaching the Rape Aggression Defense program about four years ago after “a couple of violent rapes in the town.” Residents of an apartment complex where a rape occurred were nervous, he said.

“We found this program and it took right off,” said Ingle.

“The program is worldwide,” he said. “Once you’ve been through our course, you can take a refresher course anywhere for free.”

An account has been set up to accept donations, like MaLossi’s, to RAD, said Ingle, and the money is used for course materials.

“It’s just for women,” Ingle said of the course. “Men aren‘t allowed in the program.”

Many of the women who take the course, free to Guilderland residents, are victims of domestic violence, he said. Out-of-town women pay $40 to take the course.

Ingle teaches the course with Officer Guiliana Iannuzzi; they are both certified RAD instructors. The course is offered six to eight times a year, depending on demand. The class meets for three nights from 6 to 10 p.m. — 12 hours in all.

The first session, Ingle said, is mostly lecturing — on awareness of surroundings, public transportation, the law, and how to secure your home. At the end of the first session, basic self-defense moves are demonstrated.

The second session, Ingle said, “is all self-defense, for four hours straight.”

Students have ranged in age from 14 to 73, he said. “We encourage them to go at their own speed,” said Ingle. “Everybody has limitations and skill levels. We cater to all of that...Some just sit and watch.”

On the final night, “We actually put them in simulated situations,” said Ingle. “We attack them and let them use their skills.” The instructors wear protective gear designed for the program. The session is videotaped so the women can review their performances. “They see how they did,” said Ingle.

He can’t remember ever getting any “negative feedback” from those taking the course and added, “Every time we teach the class, I always learn something.”

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