Calif. police officers fight to keep girls off the streets with kickboxing
These female police officers are helping young teenage girls stay safe and motivated through the power of training
By Suzie Ziegler
FRESNO, Calif. — This isn’t your average fitness class. Through the power of kickboxing, Fresno Police Officer Lindsay Dozier is helping young girls stay safe and motivated.
According to KGPE, the class caters to young tween and teenage girls who are most at risk for being runaways, victims of human trafficking and exposure to drugs.
“If I could just get those girls, build that self-esteem, and hopefully prevent them from getting involved in any of those things,” Dozier told KGPE. “I will be very happy with the success of the program.”
Dozier started the program by reaching out to schools and through social media to find girls who would be interested in the class.
Molly Palacios, a seventh-grader, signed up.
“I didn’t think I was that strong until I started doing kickboxing and punching the bags,” said Palacios to KGPE. “I found how strong I am.”
Aviona King, a sixth-grader, added, “I wanted to show other girls that they could be strong enough to defend themselves.”
When Dozier realized she had her hands full, she reached out to other female police officers. Now, Fresno Police Sgt. Melanie Mayo helps coach the classes.
“I think what we hope to teach the girls, or maybe model for the girls, is an inner strength,” Mayo said. “The ability to rely on yourself and just to know that you can succeed at anything you try.”