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Crisis Negotiators

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 25 Issue: 3 Dated: March 1998 Pages: 42-47
S Wexler
Date Published
4 pages
Hostage crisis negotiators must be adept communicators and must have the ability to calm, persuade, and actively listen.
Hostage situations can happen anywhere, and basic crisis negotiation skills are needed to deal with these situations. Surveillance cameras and eavesdropping devices may be available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and large police departments, but small police departments often lack such sophistication and must rely on more basic skills. Dealing with hostage or barricade situations is a complex operation that involves a coordinated team effort. Depending on the size of the police department, the team generally ranges from two to five people. The typical large police negotiation team usually has five members, each with distinct assignments as primary negotiator, secondary negotiator, intelligence officer, equipment officer, and team supervisor. The experience of the New York City Police Department in crisis negotiation is described.