Twice a year, the Powell Police Department offers a program aimed at keeping children ages 7-12 safe.

Twice a year, the Powell Police Department offers a program aimed at keeping children ages 7-12 safe.

Police officers have training in the "RAD (Resisting Aggression Defensively) Kids" program that was established in 1998 by a group of Massachusetts law enforcement and self-defense professionals. The group formed a nonprofit organization that provides training and certification in the program's curriculum nationwide.

"We as an agency do our own program," Powell Sgt. Andy Lucas said in an e-mail, noting that Powell officers attended training with Delaware city police, Delaware County sheriff's deputies, FBI agents and central Ohio state parks officers.

"We teach children skills in this class on how to react when dealing with child predators and/or bullies of similar school age," said Lucas. "We also teach basic around-the-house skills like fire safety, use of 911, street safety, and general safety awareness."

Children are taught to run from harm if they can. However, different escape techniques are taught in case running is not an option, Powell's Web site says.

Powell has offered the program since 2008. Each session has five classes. The program is currently in session, and another session will be offered in the fall, Lucas said.

The program cost $30 for residents and $37 for others. After completing the program for the first time, participants can attend any number of classes at no additional cost, Lucas said.

"The importance of this program is to empower children and teach them to replace the fear, confusion, and panic of dangerous situations with confidence, personal safety skills and self-empowerment," Lucas wrote.