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Negotiations for First Responders

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 56 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2008 Pages: 39-42
Bill Massock
Date Published
December 2008
4 pages
This article presents critical information to help a first responder establish and begin the initial process of negotiations prior to a tactical team and crisis negotiator arrival.
Crisis negotiation in a barricade situation is a complex discipline. Negotiations by one of the first responders may not just be an option; it may be an absolute necessity. The first responder is one of the keys to gathering intelligence about the subject and the incident in the effort to deescalate the situation. With a careful and thoughtful choice of words, initial negotiations will assist in reaching a successful resolution. Once the special response team arrives, the first responder will brief the negotiator regarding the discussion held with the subject/suspect. The vital information provided by the first responder negotiator will be of great value to the resolution of the incident. This article provides points of information in an attempt to aid the first responder in establishing contact with the subject and begin the process of building the rapport that is necessary for the incident to be resolved satisfactorily. The first responder’s main focus is to reduce the likelihood of further violence.