SAPD hosts self-protection training event, looks to add more women to the force

Roughly 50 women participated in this year’s event

SAN ANTONIO – For many who participated, the women in policing self-protection event was a struggle — a tough and intense fight. It’s the same kind of training San Antonio Police Department cadets go through.

SAPD hosted it’s 2nd annual training event designed to test the skills of women who are thinking of joining the police force or those wanting to learn ways to deal with potential threats in real-world scenarios.

The department’s Chief William McManus was present during the training. He said when people learn what police do, how they do it, and why, it may spark more interest in applying.

“Well today what we’re seeing here is the interest in these ladies and see if they have any desire at all in becoming police officers. A number of them raised their hand and say they do and we’re hoping those who didn’t have some interest at the end of the day,” Chief McManus said.

Jennifer Sanchez was one of about 45 participants present in the event and says this was just a practice run for her. She, along with several others, have applied to the department and will be testing later this week.

Sanchez said becoming a police officer has always been something she’s wanted to be.

“I was actually going to school for it, I was 21, I’m 31 now, and I got pregnant, took care of my daughter. It’s very emotional for me but I can’t see myself doing anything other than becoming a police officer,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the obstacle course is a lot harder than it looks and within just the first few hours, learned a lot more than what she expected.

“I’ve learned about protecting my surroundings which are something that you don’t really think about, but they brought to my attention. Now when I’m out and about will definitely apply,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez, a single mother, said the passion to become an officer was always there but it’s her daughter who is now fueling her motivation to complete the course and accomplish her dream.

“I’m a single parent so, this is something I want her to know that it’s possible. I want her to grow up and know that anything she puts her mind to no matter what, she can do it because I’m going to do it and I’m going to show her,” Sanchez said.

The women’s survival awareness and self-protection training went from 8 a.m. until noon. SAPD said it plans on hosting more events soon. For more information visit

About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.