The Oxford Police Department is offering a women’s self defense course called the Equalizer. The program is designed to help women survive an attempted assault and bring awareness to their surroundings.
Tony Carelton, a Columbus, Mississippi native, has been a police officer for the past 22 years. He has been working with OPD for more than a year. Carelton brought the program to Oxford that came from law enforcement training classes.
The Equalizer creator saw the need for women’s self defense, and the program is now being used by law enforcement.
Carelton’s tips for women are know your surroundings and who is around you at all times. Travel in pairs, especially at night.
He also said it’s important to recognize signs of harm in children. “If they’re scared or nervous, there’s a reason why,” he said. “You need to know the signs of abuse.”
He also advises women to limit their cell phone use at certain times. It is important to always scan and evaluate the area. If a person approaches you, look them in the face and do not let them alarm you.
Oxford native Gloria Hudson attended the self defense class Thursday night. She saw it on the board at the Oxford Public Library and thought it would be useful since she has never taken one before.
“I am excited for this class,” she said. “I think it is something that is needed.”
Carelton encouraged the women present to practice the moves they learned at home. There are four officers trained to teach the program. He encourages groups or departments to plan with the OPD on teaching personal classes.
The class is free and is available for women 13 and older. The next classes will be offered May 11, June 1 and June 22 at the OPD training building on 715 Molly Bar Road from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The class is interactive so athletic wear is required.