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MUSCATINE — West Liberty Police Department will host a free class for women on basic self-defense training and technique from 7:30-9 a.m. Saturday in the wrestling room at West Liberty High School, 310 W. Maxson Ave.

“We’re not looking to raise any money or anything," Chief Kary Kinmonth said, "We’re looking to make people safe. That’s our job.”

The class has attracted a lot of interest on social media through the department’s Facebook page. More than 170 people have selected "attending" on event page, with 1,200 selecting interested. The possibility of such large attendance won’t deter police from educating the public.

“We will put on the best class we can for as many people that show,” Kinmonth said.

In addition to a discussion on personal safety including learning to be more aware of surroundings and using a buddy system in public, officers will guide participants in some hands-on defense training.

Kinmonth said "all bets are off" when it comes to safety so attendees will learn to use their hands, elbows, knees and heads to get away from a would-be attacker.

To participate in the class, attendees must be more than 14 years old and are advised to wear comfortable clothing. Shoes, sharp objects and jewelry will not be allowed on the mats.

Due to the overwhelming response to the class, Kinmonth said this class is just the beginning of the conversation on personal safety. He also hopes the class will inspire other departments to host classes.

Donations for school supplies will also be collected.

"I hope we do get a great turn out because it's obviously something that's very important," Kinmonth said.


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