U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Negotiation Concepts for Commanders

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 68 Issue: 1 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 6-14
G W Noesner
Date Published
9 pages
The field of hostage negotiation has grown to impact significantly on law enforcement's ability to peacefully resolve critical incidents, and police agencies throughout the world recognize negotiation as one of the most important tools available to resolve crises.
Negotiators respond not only to hostage incidents but also to barricades, suicides, domestic disputes, kidnappings, and other types of critical events where the application of communication skills and specialized training can positively influence outcomes. While police agencies recognize the importance of crisis negotiation, law enforcement administrators may not understand abilities and methods of negotiators and may interfere with or make decisions that impede the crisis team's efforts. To address these concerns, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has developed a block of instruction for prospective crisis decision makers, referred to as Negotiation Concepts for Commanders. Essential concepts of this instruction block are detailed with respect to critical incident types, nonhostage situations, decision making considerations, negotiation tactics, the structure of negotiation teams, and the tactical role of negotiators. The instruction block views negotiation as a process designed to establish rapport, influence the subject to avoid further violence and surrender peacefully, and ensure tactical containment of the situation. 9 endnotes and 2 photographs