GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — An attempted kidnapping in Georgetown in October is one of the incidents that prompted the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to ask themselves what they can do to make families feel safer. In response, the agency’s Victim Assistance Unit is hosting a free Children’s Self Defense Academy on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.
Other surrounding law enforcement agencies, including the Georgetown, Round Rock, Leander and Liberty Hill police departments, as well as area first responders and local businesses, are helping with the classes. The event will teach children and teenagers personal safety awareness and self-defense tactics. “You make it fun by using terms like ‘bang the drum’ or ‘stomp the bug,’ things they can do,” explains Deputy Brandon Schaefer with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
Parents are encouraged to attend an informational session with local school officials and law enforcement personnel to learn how the community is working together to keep child safety a top priority.
“It’s up to the entire community to keep kids safe, there are only a certain number of policemen out there, so we need children and adults alike to come together,” said Detective Brian Johns with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. “Kids that just go along with the program, are the ones that get abducted. The ones that know to make a lot of noise and to bring attention to themselves and what’s going on, helps save lives.”
The event corresponds with the 15-year anniversary of the disappearance of Rachel Cooke. Cooke went missing on Jan. 10, 2002 while jogging in her Georgetown neighborhood. Rachel’s mother, Janet Cooke will also be attending the classes to discuss the importance of personal safety.
Saturday’s event will be held at Mortal CrossFit located at 1920 S. Austin Ave. in Georgetown. Classes will be instructed in waves based on age:
- The Avengers: Ages 3-7 years-old will be held from 9 -10 a.m.
- The Defenders: Ages 8-12 years-old will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
- The Legends: Ages 13-18 years-old will be held from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
The parent information session will be held simultaneously at Eight Count Boxing and Fitness located next door. There will be volunteers on hand to assist special needs children.
Registration information can be found by visiting www.eventbrite.com and searching “Williamson County Self Defense Academy.”