, Salem, MA

February 11, 2014

Police plan safety course for seniors, disabled

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — Police have developed a new safety awareness class geared toward elderly and disabled people that will debut later this month.

The class, “Survival Skill Basics: Tips, techniques and strategy for everyday and not-so-everyday situations,” was developed by the department’s Community Impact Unit in collaboration with the Commission on Disabilities and Council on Aging.

Sgt. Dennis King said the class will focus on topics like being aware of your surroundings, being alert about people interfering with your physical space and trusting your intuition when a situation doesn’t seem right, as opposed to physical self-defense techniques.

“This is over awareness of your surroundings,” said King. “We’re not going to be doing any actual physical class, so to speak.”

The course will also focus on what to say to a dispatcher in the event of an emergency and the importance of clear communication during stressful situations.

King said the class could become an annual offering by the department.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” he said. “It’s something that is part of a total effort that our unit does with populations like the elderly.”

The classes are free and will be held on Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Council on Aging, 5 Broad St. People who are interested in attending are encouraged to reserve a spot with the Council of Aging by calling 978-744-0924.

Neil H. Dempsey can be reached at