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Gresham offers free safety awareness class

The Gresham Police Department is offering a training session on personal safety and how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime.

The training takes place from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.

The training is free and open to the public, but all attendees must be 16 or older; 16- and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Staff in the Gresham city attorney’s office suggested the city offer the training after last month’s kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Whitney Heichel. A neighbor of Heichel’s has been charged in the case.

The training will focus on using situational awareness to maximize safety and avoid being targeted as a potential crime victim, said Deputy Chief Dale Cummins. “Veteran officers will provide training on specific techniques to maximize your safety,” he said.

The holiday season also is a good time to learn tips on situational awareness, said Patricia Tate, a paralegal in the city attorney’s office. With the holidays and Christmas shopping, people can be distracted, which works to a criminal’s advantage, she said.

All attendees will need to bring valid identification and sign a waiver and release at the class. This is not a physical self-defense class, so there is no need to dress in athletic clothing.

Register for the class by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 503-618-2662 by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

Tate said interest in the training is so high the city might hold more sessions if there’s enough demand.



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