Special training teaches police to manage violence safely

By Ken Rowland

San Miguel de Allende is known for its safety and tranquility, but when violence does occur, law enforcement is often criticized, especially by members of the foreign community. I think complaints need to be balanced with compliments for the great effort and dedication exhibited despite their small budget and limited personnel. So, here are congratulations to the young men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of the citizens of San Miguel.

As the Atención reported on May 10, the Police Department participated in an intensive training program organized by Public Security Director Gabriel Yáñez Saldaña and Volunteer Training Coordinator Hector Majalca. The comandante of the regional police, Maria Leticia Rivero Cadena, also supported the program. The program was designed to better prepare new and continuing police from all municipal units to diffuse potentially violent situations; and, when necessary, to use techniques to subdue the violent without causing physical harm.

The psychological component of the training was given in early May at the Police Academy. The participating officers, including an instructor from the police academy, received training in avoiding physical confrontation from psychologist Dr. Linda Sonna, who specializes in teaching the verbal skills necessary to calm aggressive violators, and Sandra Price Rosado, forensic evaluation expert.

The following week, the physical component was given at Aikido San Miguel. Sixteen members of the police force spent 12 hours over three days learning techniques to physically restrain violent offenders without serious injury, while keeping themselves and other citizens safe. Because of its effectiveness in safely controlling an attacker without harm, Aikido is authorized by the United Nations peacekeeping system.

The participating police should be honored for the physical effort required in the four-hour classes they attended over three consecutive days. Through dedication like this, the San Miguel police force will continue to develop and benefit all members of the San Miguel community. We should all be grateful for their efforts. With appreciation and encouragement from the citizens, such training might continue.

Aikido is an effective self-defense martial art that is commonly practiced by both men and women and requires minimal strength. It depends on movement to match and change the energy of an attack to disable the aggressor without causing permanent harm. It is also a fun practice which many people have called “much like dancing.”

For more information about Aikido classes, contact Sensei Ken Rowland at aikidosma@yahoo.com, or Alfonso Alarcon at 044/415/113-9517.


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