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December 6, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Participants of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s D.A.S.H. program listen as instructors prepare them for the physical portion of the training inside the gymnasium of Winthrop’s Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently brought the D.A.S.H. (Defensive Aids in Situations of Help) program to the town of Winthrop. The program, which debuted last month at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, was created to provide women with a greater sense of confidence and security through basic physical self–defense training and instruction.

The three–hour training – led by Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Officers Karen Doria, Jessica Cabrera and Julio Pena, Assistant Deputy Superintendent Jose Mojica and Chelsea Police Officer Jose Ramos – was held at the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School gym. Throughout the scenario–based training, participants learned to deal with situations ranging from armed robbery, to kidnapping and even sexual assault.

During the training, Sergeant Steve Rogers of the Winthrop Police Department stopped by to commend the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department for bringing the program to Winthrop.

“I just wanted to thank the Sheriff’s Department for bringing this program to Winthrop,” said Sergeant Rogers. “It really is a great program and I’m excited to see all the people here. You all did a great job.”

Seventy–two–year–old Winthrop resident and D.A.S.H. participant Elaine Abrams also expressed her gratitude for the program and spoke about the level of commitment shown by the trainers.

“It was wonderful,” said Ms. Abrams. “The instructors were wonderful. I felt like they all totally cared about us and were there for our benefit. All of their hearts were in it and everyone who ran the program really wanted to make sure we benefited from it, and speaking for myself, I did. It was confidence building and it made me realize how important it is for me to maintain balance and strength.”

Donna Julius from the Boston Public Health Commission raved about the program to friends, and though she lives in Peabody, Massachusetts, the distance didn’t stop her from being a part of the seminar.

“It was an excellent program,” said Ms. Julius. “It was very informative, well–planned out and the instructors were excellent. It really raises your awareness. This really should be promoted. Women should think about taking this program.”

Extending his appreciation to the participants of D.A.S.H., Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins encouraged participants to spread the word about the program.

“We are proud to offer this self–defense program to the citizens of Suffolk County as a part of our public safety initiative,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “Please tell your family and friends to participate. It is my hope that the women that participate in this program will gain tools that will serve them well, should their safety be compromised. Danger does not discriminate and I’m happy that the Winthrop community can benefit from the knowledge that the Sheriff’s Department has to offer.”

The next session of the D.A.S.H. program will be held on January 22nd from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the Grove Hall Community Center, located at 51 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester. For more information about the D.A.S.H. program, please contact Zakiyyah Sutton at (617) 704–6656 or


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