LAYTON -- Even with the protective padding, helmet and face mask, Detective Jason Nordgran could still feel the punches and kicks from the elementary school kids as they fought their way free of his grasp.
"The concept is for the child to get away," Nordgran said. "They have to hit in areas on an adult where they would feel it. Even with the pads, I can tell where they are hitting me."
On the final day of the week-long radKIDS program at Whitesides Elementary School, Nordgran and Detective Wes McKinney found out exactly what their students had learned. Friday's exercises consisted of different scenarios designed to test the students to see if they could chose the right response when approached by an adult.
"It's important so that they don't get kidnapped," said 9-year-old Andra Lucero.
Andra and her sister, Adaiah, 10, were two of the 12 students who participated in the week-long afterschool class.
As Nordgran approached the kids during the scenarios, he sometimes tried to trick them into believing that the child's parents asked him to pick them up from school. Other times he immediately tried to grab the child, as if he was abducting them.
Each time the kids had to yell loud, get away and run for help.
"It's kind of hard because he's holding on to you and he's bigger," Andra said.
However, thanks to techniques such as hammer fists to the nose, pepper shots to the eyes and any kind of a kick to the groin, the kids fought off the would-be abductor.
"It was easier because of the things they taught us," Adaiah said. "If we weren't in the pads, and this was happening in real life, they wouldn't be going easy on us."
One of the important things is to have the kids confident that they can get away and get help.
"We have to train children to make a decision not to do what they've been told growing up, which is to obey their elders," Nordgran said. "We have to teach a child to assess the situation, to determine if that person is a bad person and wants to do bad things to them they don't have to cooperate."
The Layton police officers hope to teach the course at every elementary school in the city. Other agencies have a fee for the class; however, Layton's police department is offering the course for free.