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Police Negotiators' Reconciliation of Interpersonal and Coercive Role Demands in Relationships With Suspects

NCJ Number
Date Published
35 pages
Police crisis negotiation presents the police negotiator with conflicting role demands to be both interpersonal and coercive with suspects in the relationship formed with them.
Some form of understanding by the police officer of how to reconcile these conflicting demands is necessary to prevent interference from mixed personal reactions to suspects that usually accompany conflicting role demands. Although the literature gives limited attention to the police negotiator's personal reactions to suspects, the literature seems to imply several different perspectives on how the police officer can reconcile conflicting role demands: (1) avoidance of role conflict through conversion of the softer, interpersonal role into an "act"; (2) psychological or internal integration through self-observation to control the mixture of emotional reactions to suspects; and (3) avoidance of role conflict through reliance on other negotiating team members or a psychological consultant to take responsibility at any given time for the experience of one role or the other. Exploring these perspectives and others with police negotiators who are experienced in psychological management of role conflict may be useful with respect to police negotiator selection, training, and debriefing and may assist police organization decisions about resource allocations for the use of psychological consultants in crisis negotiation incidents. 38 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996