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Role-Play Training for Negotiators in Diverse Environments

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 73 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2004 Pages: 10-12
James R. Maher
Date Published
June 2004
3 pages
The Suffolk County Police Department (New York) trains hostage negotiators through role-playing in a variety of locations and venues, so they will be able to assess and respond quicker and more effectively in a variety of hostage or barricade incidents.
Currently, all 24 members of the Suffolk hostage negotiation team (HNT) have received a minimum of 1 week of training conducted by members of the FBI's New York office. Some members have also attended a crisis negotiation course at the FBI Academy. During both of these schools, HNT members participate in classroom instruction and exercises designed to simulate actual barricade or hostage events. To maintain, broaden, and develop skills, the team conducts training exercises every other month. HNT supervisors meet with representatives of the various facilities that will be involved in the training simulations, arranging a suitable location for negotiations, observation, and the use of communication equipment. Role-play scripts and scenarios are designed to provide the best and most realistic training within the constraints of time and available personnel. Training locations and scenarios have included a local branch bank building no longer in use, a local high school facility during the summer, the local jail, a medical facility, and a university dormitory. These role-plays provide team members opportunities to improve communication skills, practice strategies, and increase the chances of success in real-life situations. By providing diverse settings and scenarios, negotiators and tactical personnel have become familiar with the various setting and the problems posed in those settings. 4 notes