Self Defense Tactics and Risk Reduction (S.T.A.R.R.) Program

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nothing is more important to us at the University of Kentucky than the safety and security of our community. To that end, we continue to invest in campus safety infrastructure for all students, faculty, staff, patients, visitors, and fans. Moreover, we continuously study and implement new ways to keep campus safe.

Over the past several years, spearheaded by the UK Police Department, we’ve invested more than $7 million to create a centralized safety response system. It includes features such as a video management system to monitor areas of campus and a centralized access control system to secure facilities remotely.

While we continue to undergo this important work, it remains important for our community to take steps to keep themselves safe – inside and outside the borders of our campus.

To encourage women to take an even more active role in their own safety, the UK Police Department provides the Self Defense Tactics and Risk Reduction (S.T.A.R.R.) program. The course is designed for women over the age of 13 with no maximum age limit. There is no fee for the class. Women under the age of 18 will be required to have a parent/guardian sign a consent form.  UK

Chief of Police Joe Monroe said, “The S.T.A.R.R. program is teaching participants to take an active role in their own self-defense and psychological well-being. We want to empower women to learn risk reduction strategies and physical techniques to defend themselves.”  

The program begins with a two-hour discussion on ways to reduce participants’ risk of being targeted and general safety tips. The remaining seven hours involve active learning, teaching women to defend against larger and often stronger attackers. Punching, kicking, and ground defense techniques are all taught in a non-threatening atmosphere by instructors who are certified police officers. 

The class is taught in the basement of Blazer Dining Hall, 343 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., on North Campus and is open to the public. The department has offered two courses already this semester; two more remain:

  • Session 3: Monday April 10th- Wednesday April 12th, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

  • Session 4: Monday May 15th- Wednesday May 17th, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

If you have any questions about the S.T.A.R.R. program you can contact the instructors by email at

This is another example, among many, of how members of the UK family—across our campus and across areas of expertise—continuously ask themselves how they can contribute to our community’s wellbeing.

I am grateful to UK Police Chief Joe Monroe for his leadership of the UK Police Department and for the department’s commitment to keeping our community safe.

Have a great week.


Eric N. Monday