MRC holds women’s safety seminar

Poughkeepsie Police Officer Kristen Norbom was part of a Dutchess County women’s safety seminar on March 19.

Elizabeth Beggan

MRC holds women’s safety seminar

POUGHKEEPSIE —The Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps hosted its annual women’s safety night on March 19 at the county’s Department of Emergency Response campus.

The seminar was filled with women ranging from the ages to 19-60, eager to learn about the importance of self defense. Female Poughkeepsie police officers Kristen Norbom and Det. Lindsay Chomicki. Amanda Snyder directed the event with slides and videos to go along with the lecture.

The officers introduced themselves and proceeded to make everyone comfortable, aiming for an atmosphere where learners felt confident in asking concerns and questions.

They started off with their training goals:

—Know the important role your instincts and gut reactions play;

—Discover potentially dangerous situations and know how to avoid them;

—Learn how to make a safety plan, and to decrease the odds of becoming a victim.

“There are no fair fights when it comes to safety,” said Norbom, following the showing of a slide of a woman screaming and kicking to escape a situation.

With there police officers teaching the seminar, the women in the audience asked questions about what to do, how to react to situations along with other comments and concerns.

The MRC is part of a national network of volunteers who support public health infrastructure, preparedness, and response in their local communities.

“About 3 years ago we started them (the seminars), on a need basis but requests have been through the roof, it depends on the MRC seeing a need for it is usually how we base these seminars,” said detective Chomicki. “ These events are important because it’s getting people back into the mindset of knowing their surroundings,”she said. Chomicki currently is working with the department to spread the seminars to high schoolers and freshman in college.

College safety with the nightlife culture (especially in the town of Poughkeepsie) has been a problem that needs to be addressed.

Pat D’Antono said “this was definitely a positive thing to come to, I learned a bunch of little things that could help me in the long run.”

The women in attendance seemed to find a common bond, even as strangers. They shared stories about different situations, and answered each other’s questions, at times also sharing laughs.

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