GPD teaches women to protect themselves

— Photo from the Guilderland Police Department

RAD: A Rape Aggression Defense course, with 13 graduates, was taught April 1, 2, and 8 by the Guilderland Police Department.

Eleven women and two teenage girls were recently attacked over the course of 12 hours by several assailants and survived.

However, the assailants were actually Guilderland Police officers and the victims were participants of the most recent Rape Aggression Defense class hosted by the department’s Community Services Unit.  The RAD course is open only to women and is not your typical self-defense course.

Chief Carol Lawlor has dedicated her police career to providing programs to members of the community to help keep them safe, and this program is no exception. The Guilderland Police Department was one of the first police agencies in the area to offer RAD.

With the help of the State University of New York Police Department, the program began approximately nine years ago and hundreds of women have gone through the community-based training.  The Guilderland Police Department, in conjunction with the Guilderland School District, has trained well over 200 college-bound senior girls on the art of survival and escape in a program for the students that began in 2012.

The RAD course is a 12-hour program divided into three sessions.  The first session covers risk-reduction strategies, acquaintance-rape mentality, the continuum of survival, defense strategies, and the basic principles of defense.

How to develop a defensive mindset and recognizing vulnerable locations is also covered before the next session begins.  As the program progresses into the second session, students begin the process of hands-on training.

The program culminates with simulated assault exercises, using 100-percent full contact defense scenarios.  The instructors and students wear state-of-the art protective gear designed for the training.  Students will walk away with skills to recognize and avoid dangerous situations and to protect themselves in circumstances where avoidance is not an option.

This course is offered to Guilderland residents free of charge, and students can attend as often as they wish. For more information, go online to or contact call 356-1980 extension 1038.

Editor’s note: Sergeant Roger Ginder is in charge of Community Services for the Guilderland Police Department.

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