Florence police to host self-defense class at public library

To sign up for the self-defense courses, people can visit www.flpl.org or call 256-764-6564.

The Florence Lauderdale Public Library will be hosting a self-defense class in one of the conference rooms Oct. 29.

The Florence Police Department and the Florence Lauderdale Public Library are partnering together to provide a community need.

Jennifer Butler Keeton, UNA instructor, said the class was initially started because of the recent string of crime in the Florence area.

Keeton bragged on the Florence Police Department and said she can’t say enough good things about how helpful the officers have been.

“The officers are taking time on their off-days to provide these classes,” Keeton said.

Sergeant Hal Howard, Sergeant Shane Blalock and Officer Dustin Key will be conducting the course. Each of the officers have years of experience in self-defense training.

According to the library’s website, Howard has 29 years of martial arts experience and is a Combat Defense Instructor. Blalock and Key are both Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT) instructors.

Keeton said many people believe this class is a women’s defense class, but it is open to men, as well.

Nick Landers said he didn’t know about the class but won’t be taking it, regardless.

“I don’t think I need self-defense training,” Landers said. “I was taught to defend myself. It was the way I was raised.”

The self-defense class will cover several different forms of protection from an attack. There will be lectures and hands-on instruction.

The first lecture will be on being aware of one’s surroundings. Then the class will discuss ways to control body reactions to stress. Lastly, the class will teach basic home security and basic self-defense techniques.

The first class is already full, but Keeton said there is a waiting list. The police department and the library have intentions of continuing the classes until everyone who wants to attend has done so.

“The safety of UNA students is a large reason for the creation of this class,” Keeton said.

Students are increasingly becoming aware of this class. Allison Stover, UNA student, said she would be interested in taking the class.

“I think it is very important to take the class because I’m a woman and easy to prey on,” Stover said. “I carry mace, but that can only do so much.”

For more information on the classes or to sign up for the class visit www.flpl.org or call 256-764-6564.