July 23, 2016

Mostly sunny

Police teach self-defense at free class

MEDINA — An annual women’s self-defense class offered by police next month filled up much faster than usual, and police are thanking social media for the increased interest.

“This time, with the help of Facebook, we filled the class in three days,” Medina police Officer Bryan Wagner said. “Usually it takes a couple weeks.”

The free class, which starts Feb. 26, lasts four weeks and teaches women basic self-defense.

Montville Township police also are offering a free self-defense class on Jan. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. The class will be held at the township Safety Services Center, 6665 Wadsworth Road. To register, call (330) 725-8314.

“It’s simple, but very effective,” Wagner said of the Medina class. “It’s nothing you need a black belt in karate to do, but they’re simple things you can do to protect yourself from attackers.”

He said the hope is that women who take the class will learn to protect themselves effectively if they ever find themselves in a dire situation.

Wagner started the program four years ago with another officer because Medina police didn’t offer one at the time. Wagner used to work at Case Western Reserve University, where a class was offered, and was surprised to find Medina didn’t have one.

“I’m realty surprised more police departments don’t have free classes like this,” Wagner said. “I have people who still email me to ask about the class and when we’re going to do it next.”

Wagner will teach 16 women this time.

He said it’s possible positive feedback and interest in the community could lead to more classes available throughout the year.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.