The campers took their fighting stances and made fists — with thumbs over fingers but not sticking out — according to Troy Police Officer Jeff Strong’s instructions, with the caveat that they not use the fists against their brothers or sisters, but to defend themselves against harm.
The 20 children, ages 8-12, learned defensive tactics, saw what the inside of an ambulance looks like, saw how police gather fingerprints evidence, watched a K-9 demonstration, watched the tactical team in action and navigated an obstacle course to gather evidence at the Troy Police and Fire Training Center during the Troy Police Summer Camp Clinic July 29. More than 150 children will participate in the program this summer.
Troy Police Service Aide Shawn Flint explained that the clinic was new this year.
“We wanted to do something new and fun for the kids,” she said. “At the end of the day, they have a million questions.”
Strong told the campers to make noise as they punched, kicked, and used the other defensive tactics against punching bags their partners held. He also showed them how to place their hands in front of their faces for protection, crouch their knees in a fighting stance, and move on one foot to get away from an attacker.
“If you don’t make noise in a fight, you’re not breathing,” he said.
He showed the campers how to punch with the heel of their palms, how to use a hammer fist, how to deliver a blow using their front forearm and how to use a snap kick.
“Use your (shoe) laces on the bag,” he said. “A snap kick surprises your opponent.”
Erin Breidenich, 9, said that she was surprised how important it was to scream while she defended herself.
“When you do loud noises, it lets you breathe,” she said.
Flint said the Troy police hope to offer the program again next year.
“Parents love it. We get great feedback. It’s good to have kids get to know the police in this kind of encounter and realize the police are your friends.”
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