NYPD to Give Cab Drivers Self-Defense Training

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Monday, 24 Mar 2014 08:49 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The New York City Police Department is launching a new training initiative to give the city's cab drivers lessons on how to protect themselves against violent passengers and fare dodgers, according to the New York Post.

The program, to be run in partnership between the Sergeants Benevolent Association and the Greater New York Taxi Association (GNYTA), will also teach methods for handling high-stress situations, such as road rage and accidents, as well as strategies to avoid becoming a crime victim.

"Police officers and taxi drivers are on the streets of New York together all day and night," Ethan Gerber, executive director of the GNYTA, told the Post. "And we want to be the eyes and ears helping the police as much as we can."

Sergeants will go to taxi garages across New York for the instruction and will use a five-to 10-point safety plan, along with instructional videos, according to the Post.

There is also hope that the initiative could mend fences between police officers and cab drivers, who traditionally have had an adversarial relationship.

"We can bridge the gap," NYPD Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the SBA, told the Post. "There's no downside to it. We can create a friendlier atmosphere."

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