On January 28, 2017, CASA volunteers completed our first in-service training of 2017.  Attendees learned how to remain safe when stopped by police, a vital skill to share with youth given the troubling number of young people inexplicably shot by police in recent years.

The training was presented by Courtney Wiggins-Lloyd, who runs a group home for boys. She created the training session in consultation with fellow social workers and police. She said her aim is not to take sides, but to help prevent anyone from getting hurt.

“If police say ‘stop,’ stop,” Wiggins-Lloyd said.

“If they say, ‘Raise your hands,’ raise your hands,” she said. “Hands need to be visible at all times.”

“Adjust your attitude,” she added. “Take three breaths and count to five before speaking.”

A CASA said she welcomed the chance to tell her youth what she learned, but expressed concern that he won’t listen.

“He may not look like he’s listening,” the CASA was told. “But if he’s stopped by police, he’ll remember what you had to say.”

And it could save his life.

Tips on remaining safe when stopped by police:

  • Immediately cooperate. If police say “stop,” stop. If they say, “raise your hands,” raise your hands. Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Stay calm. The balance of power is not in your favor. The officer has a weapon and the authority to use force. Take three breaths and count to five before speaking.
  • If you are an adult, be prepared to ask for an attorney. If a minor, you can ask for your legal guardian.
  • If arrested, you will be allowed one phone call. So know the number of someone who you are confident will answer the phone and help.