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'Go Along and Stay Alive'

August 19, 2000|JANNISE JOHNSON | JANNISE JOHNSON spoke with Inglewood Police Lt. Alex Perez, who defended the policy of advising victims to not resist armed assailants. Perez is the former head of Inglewood's Community Outreach Program and has been involved with Neighborhood Watch activities, school programs and business liaison programs for the city

It's been my experience in 25 years of law enforcement that the vast majority of people are much safer if they comply with the robber's demands as opposed to trying to overcome the robber or trying to disarm him.

That would just agitate the situation and endanger their lives.

I give this advice to my family as well as to the public.

You will hear from time to time about a situation where the victim did as the assailant instructed and still got shot or still was injured. These are noteworthy cases because they are the exception to the rule. The vast majority of people who go along with a robber's demand for money or their wallet are going to come out of it safely.

When I was teaching personal safety some time ago, I always would mention to the class that there could be situations when it was appropriate to take action. But the key is to avoid that situation in the first place, by just being aware of surroundings and not traveling alone. People can cut down on the chances of being victimized just by staying in a lighted area and being with someone else.

Should you try to outrun someone? That would depend on your physical condition as to whether you can outrun somebody.

We train our police officers in the United States quite well in self-defense and being able to wrestle around with people and the officers still get injured. And they are armed.

I don't think it's right to give the members of the public the impression that this is an easy thing to do. And I wouldn't want them going around with that kind of attitude because they'll get hurt.

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