by Dorothy Puch Lillig
From fraud prevention to violent crime, officers from the Office of Alan Rosen, Harris County Constable Precinct 1, are hoping to provide awareness and defense strategies for older adults in Harris County through a new senior version of the popular R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) program.
R.A.D. is the largest network of its kind with more than 11,000 Instructors teaching at various colleges, universities, and municipal law enforcement agencies, as well as various other community organizations internationally. R.A.D. has trained more than 900,000 women since the program began in 1989.
While they don’t have one specifically for seniors, Harris County Precinct 5 offers the traditional R.A.D. training for women. Sgt. Connie Rico, lead instructor, said they have trained all ages, from age 6 to 81. While they are booked up for November and no classes are offered in December, classes will be offered again in 2019, most likely starting back up in February, Rico said. To inquire about a class, contact her at Consuelo.Rico@cn5.hctx.net.
In Precinct 5, classes are broken into four sessions over two consecutive weeks. Registration is free, however, class space is limited and demand is high. To receive a certificate of completion, you must attend all sessions.
Precinct 1’s R.A.D. Seniors, which is open to women and men, is taught in a relaxed environment that is conducive to learning tested instructional techniques, proven tactics, and unique insights about the problems unique to older adults. The program also includes physical defense workouts for technique development, and educational components to assist with the development of defensive strategies.
At a recent session at a local retirement center, a group of residents — some in wheelchairs, others using walkers— gathered for their first class.
Maria Centeno, age 84, Anna Williams, age 91, and Martha Yarbrough, age 96, sat together at a table first filling out the prerequisite paperwork and, later, practicing a defensive stance under the direction of Precinct 1 Community Outreach Deputy Toni Mascione.
“It’s important to offer the program because our seniors face different challenges and obstacles than other age groups. They also have very different limitations,” she said.
“It’s important to protect them from being victims of fraud targeted to seniors, and give them viable options of defense so they may feel safer in their everyday lives.”
R.A.D. for Seniors can be booked through Mascione by emailing her at Toni.Mascione@cn1.hctx.net. The course is FREE of charge. For more information, visit https://pct1constable.net/community/crime-prevention-division/r-a-d-system/.
The program is a minimum 15-hour program. Precinct 1 offers one day a week for 1.5 hours for 10 weeks.
Anyone can sign up, Mascione said, though there is a minimum group of 10 participants and a maximum of 30, allowing for individual attention. All participants must be willing to commit to the full program, she said, but any group of neighbors, friends, organizations, churches or other groups may inquire.
For more information about other R.A.D. programs and training sessions in the area, visit http://www.rad-systems.com.
Also, check out this recent article in the Katy Times about Precinct 5’s R.A.D. training: http://katytimes.com/news/article_44333ae6-aa00-11e8-9456-a315c466003d.html