The Rockford Police Department is rolling out a new, five-week women's self-defense class, and it’s already reached capacity weeks before it’s scheduled to start.
The class aims to boost situational awareness. Deputy Rockford Police Chief Mike Dalke said it's half the battle in self-protection.
“If you’re aware of your surroundings, you don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position," he said. "Some people, for example, may be paying attention to their phone; you’re walking by a bunch of people, and you’re not seeing who’s coming and going; you’re unable to read body language.”
There has been a lot of talk about abductions lately, like the missing University of Illinois scholar. However, Dalke said, the class isn't in response to any recent events.
"But we feel, it would help people in their minds feel better prepared," he said, "that if a situation did erupt in front of them, that they would be able to take care themselves, their family, or whatever the case.”
Due to high demand, Dalke said he's working on planning an evening class for those who didn't get into the first one.