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ACSO offers free personal safety, awareness course

NATCHEZ — Knowledge of how to avoid dangerous situations can be just as important as knowing how to fight back, Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said.

Mayfield and deputies from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office will teach women how to defend themselves and avoid getting caught in a bad situation at a free personal safety and awareness course set for Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

According to recent statistics provided by the sheriff’s office, one violent crime occurs every five seconds in the United States, and 172 women are physically and or sexually assaulted every hour.

The course, “Ladies Beware — Increasing Self Defense Options for Women,” will be at the Adams County Sheriff’s Firing Range on Foster Mound Road.

A second session focusing on firearms safety and familiarization will be Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. at the firing range.

“Women are attacked more often than men and are at great risk,” a sheriff’s office press release said. “As a result women are looking for way to defend themselves.”

Thursday’s lessons will include situational awareness and avoidance techniques, improvised weapons, Taser and pepper spray use and basic self-defense.

“It will include common sense (tips) like where to park,” Mayfield said.

“The goal of this program is to empower women with tools to maintain personal safety and to successfully confront and survive potentially dangerous situations,” a sheriff’s office press release said.

The two sessions will include a lecture, discussions and demonstrations of self-defense techniques and firearm safety.

Saturday’s class will also offer a chance to become certified to use a firearm by National Rifle Association trainers who will be on site, Mayfield said.

The Saturday session will guide those interested in purchasing a gun to know what gun is right for them as well as teach women to safely operate and clean the gun they already own.

Attendees who do not own a gun can borrow one from the sheriff’s office for purposes of the course. Those who bring their own gun must ensure it is unloaded and secured and must provide ammunition.

Women ages 18 and older should register by contacting Capt. Randy Freeman or Maj. Debbie Gee at the sheriff’s office at 601-442-2752.

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