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October 28, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Participant Kim Hall takes time out to pose with Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department instructors Julio Pena and Jessica Cabrera during the Department’s first D.A.S.H. (Defensive Aids in Situations of Help) session, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently held the first–ever session of D.A.S.H. (Defensive Aids in Situations of Help) at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.

The program, which is a part of the Department’s public safety outreach initiative, aims to provide women with a greater sense of confidence and security through basic physical self–defense training and instruction.

The three–hour training was led by Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Officers Karen Doria, Jessica Cabrera and Julio Pena along with an assist from Chelsea Police Officer Jose Ramos. The scenario–based training covered a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to: armed robbery, kidnapping and even sexual assault.

A class of twenty participants took part in the program representing various neighborhoods, age groups and ethnic backgrounds.

Visiting the class in order to thank those who attended and to stress the importance of this program for women in the community, Sheriff Tompkins addressed the group.

“I want to applaud you all for being here,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “I also want to thank my crew for being here and Zakiyyah [Sutton] who created this program. We’re going to do it again, so make sure to tell your friends because, at the end of the day, it really is about public safety and taking care of yourself. I hope you get something good out of this.”

At the conclusion of the session, the class unanimously praised the program.

"D.A.S.H. was empowering and energizing,” said Rebekah Meyer of Jamaica Plain. “The instruction was excellent, and the program emphasized not only self–defense, but also the importance of confidence and awareness of our surroundings."

In addition, Khedra Hollis of Project RIGHT was impressed by the presentation of the program.

“I thought it was amazing and ridiculously helpful,” said Hollis. “I loved it so much. The techniques were clear and easy to understand. I think it’s amazing that this service is offered to the community free of charge.”

Stating that she expected D.A.S.H. to become an important part of her daily life, Jennifer Cosgrove said, “It was so well worth the three hours. I got so much out of it.  I walk home and I get off late so I took the course very seriously.”

Dispelling preconceived notions that she held about people who work in corrections, Cosgrove continued, “The instructors were so professional and made us feel so comfortable. The dynamic between the four of them was so fantastic and they really knew their stuff. I couldn’t believe they were corrections people. I invited my friend and we were raving on the bus after it. It’s all I’ve been talking about all weekend. I would totally recommend it. I think everyone should take it. Every young woman needs to take this class.”

The next session of D.A.S.H. will be held in Winthrop at the Arthur T. Cumming’s Elementary School Gym at 40 Hermon Street on November 20th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

For more information, please contact Zakiyyah at: (617) 704-6656.


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