South Salt Lake Police give kids free self-defense and safety training

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- Kids finished their last day of self-defense training from South Salt Lake City Police Thursday morning.

It's a free program for all, held at the beginning of the summer and again in August.

Officers go over school, gun and vehicle safety with the kids and also discuss stranger danger.

“The reality of it is, kids talk to strangers every day,” Sgt. Matt Oehler said. “What this program does, is it teaches the kids that there’s good people, and there’s bad people. They decide who’s good or bad based on how they make them feel.”

Officer Chad Leetham put on a red-padded suit for the kids to practice their defense moves.

“When the adrenaline gets up and they get into a fight mode, they really know how to take it to you,” Leetham said. “Even with that suit and padding on, you’re a little bit afraid, but ultimately that’s what we want them to do.”

Leetham said they’re not only teaching them to fight for survival, but he’s building relationships with these kids and fighting for their futures.

“We know that they will be future leaders, future parents and we want them to be able to come to us at any given time,” Leatham said.

The next RAD Kids program will be held in August. Officers say anyone from any county can attend.