Monday, October 9, 2017

Police drive to recruit volunteers is 'a recipe for disaster'



(DailyMail.com)- A national drive to recruit thousands of volunteers to fill key police roles was branded a ‘recipe for disaster’ last night.

Chief constables are spending £600,000 on drumming up an army of free labour to carry out scores of specialist roles.

Among the posts are jobs supporting elderly crime victims, monitoring CCTV networks, undertaking mounted patrols and even hostage negotiation.

Read more [HERE]. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Concept of “Control” & How Lacking It Can Lead To A Crisis

How Successful Hostage Negotiators Help A Subject Regain Control & Achieve A Peaceful Conclusion


Often, when a person is in a crisis they feel like they have no control over their situation. Due to this perception of their life being out of control, it contributes to the person (or “subject” in crisis/hostage negotiation jargon) acting out of a combination of numerous negative emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, rage, despair and sadness.

These overwhelming emotions and sensing their situation is hopeless can prevent the person from acting rationally and being open to listening to others, being influenced by them or considering alternative options. 

For a suicidal person, the subject then might see completing suicide as their only option. For a barricaded perpetrator surrounded by police, they might believe their only option is to “never come out alive” or exiting their position in a hail of gunfire.

Not that crisis and hostage negotiators need a reminder but this line of work is not easy. The above description is intended to generate empathy with the subject. Being able to “see things” from the eyes of another person is critical to eventually influencing them to gain their voluntary compliance. Remember that is the goal, as the alternative is involuntary compliance and that more than likely will involve some sort of force being used. 


In crisis situations, emotions can dictate a person's actions at the detriment of rational thinking.

If the subject feels as if they have no control, in order to be able to attempt to successfully influence them to do what you want (while they think they are making that choice themselves), you must help them regain a sense of control over their lives and their current situation. The Crisis Text Line calls this moving a person from a “hot moment” to a “cool calm.”

So how do you help a subject regain a sense of control over their situation?

Read the full article at PsychologyToday.com [HERE]. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mental Health Emergencies: A Guide to Recognizing and Handling Mental Health Crises


(From Amazon.com)- Ready reference to mental and emotional health crises and concerns, providing overviews and expert guidance on more serious problems. Ideal for first-responders, teachers, counselors, and human resource professionals.

Developed from best-practices of psychiatry, psychology and mental health counseling, Mental Health Emergencies is a guide to providing much-needed care and support to the people in distress who most need help including self-injury, eating disorders, substance abuse, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.

Mental Health Emergencies will help you provide exactly the right kind of support--where and when it's needed most.

Check it more and how to purchase different versions [HERE]. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Closing the Gap: Assessing Responses to Terrorist-Related Kidnap-for-Ransom



This paper examines kidnapping as a source of terrorist finance, arguing that a new approach is needed if terrorist groups are not to continue to benefit from multimillion-dollar cash injections.
This paper outlines three different options which would help to ‘close the gap’ between the commitments of some governments and their actions in response to the kidnapping of their citizens by designated terrorists.
  • The first option requires a global, rigorously applied and scrupulously monitored commitment to prevent any concessions to terrorist organisations. This would eliminate hostage-taking as a source of terrorist finance, although terrorists might still kidnap for propaganda purposes. However, the paper shows that the international community remains polarised and is not ready to commit to enforcing such a ban. 
  • A second option is that governments exit from the market for hostage negotiations and decriminalise private resolutions of terrorist hostage incidents. The insurance sector already offers effective solutions for the prevention and resolution of criminal kidnappings. These solutions would become available for those exposed to the risk of terrorist kidnap. 
  • A third option would be a new policy framework modelled on existing private sector solutions. Private entities would be allowed to make financial concessions, but governments would create effective (multilateral) institutions to monitor and minimise such payments. 
Read more and get the link to download the full paper [HERE].

Thursday, September 14, 2017

KY officers train in expert hostage negotiation

Practice the way you play, Play the way you practice

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Hostage negotiators from a dozen Kentucky police agencies are being tested on advanced negotiating skills.
The Elizabethtown Police Department hosted national training from Crisis Systems Management out of Missouri the week of Aug. 21 to 25.
Read more Wave3.com [HERE] but first ask yourself- when was the last time your participated in a role-play exercise? You only know that you know you have the skills if you prove it... to yourself.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RUSI Report on Terror Ransom Payments Says Americans Are at Risk

LONDON — American hostages are at greater risk of being murdered or tortured because some European nations pay multimillion-dollar ransoms to terrorist groups, a think tank warned Tuesday.

The U.S. has a policy of not paying ransoms to banned militant organizations, a principle it has stood by through the high-profile beheadings of several Americans by ISIS.
Terrorists abuse hostages whose governments refuse to negotiate in order to raise the pressure on countries which do
Read more [HERE]. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

High-Tech Tools Used To End Standoff



Twitter was the method used by the Vermillion Police Department at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night to initially inform the public that a standoff with a jail escapee that had gone on for hours in Vermillion had ended.

“Barricaded suspect situation has ended, Charles Mix County escapee Jubal Grant is in custody,” the Vermillion Police Department tweet states.

Social media was just one of the high-tech tools used by law enforcement that day to eventually get Jubal Grant back behind bars. Everything from a drone to a robot equipped with a video camera and a two-way radio were among the tools used by officers that allowed Thursday’s incident to end with the best possible outcome, said Vermillion Police Chief Matt Betzen.

Read more from PlainTalk.net [HERE]. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kidnapped in the Philippines, former hostage tells his harrowing story

Kjartan Sekkingstad was held for ransom by Islamist militants and survived. Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall did not

Sotra, NORWAY — Run, duck. Run, duck.
Deep in the jungles of Sulu province, in the southern Philippines islands, Kjartan Sekkingstad pushed through darkness in search of a way out.
It was April 2016, seven months after armed Islamist militants had kidnapped the Norwegian, along with two Canadian men and a Filipina woman, in a high profile hostage-for-ransom case.
Sekkingstad saw an opportunity to escape when Philippines military forces launched a surprise middle-of-the-night air assault on the group, sending his captors fleeing all directions.
“I got away from the guy who was watching me. He ran for cover himself. And I was sort of free,” Sekkingstad, then 56, said.
...“What can I say? We were all sad,” Sekkingstad said. “But we didn’t have time to mourn him, because we were so busy surviving … We were told right away, ‘You’re next! You’re next!”
Read more from the NationalPost.com [HERE]. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

How To Defuse A Conflict


(Leigh Anderson/LifeHacker)- To get an idea of how professional conflict resolution experts handle tense situations, I spoke to Robin Burcell, a former cop, detective and hostage negotiator and now a crime novelist, and Chris Voss, the former lead international hostage negotiator for the FBI and author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.


Label the Emotions, and Don't Use 'I' Statements

"Naming strong emotions, like fear, causes those feelings to diminish," says Voss. "'You seem angry,'" is a way of affirming their feelings and expressing empathy. But "how you make the observation — that's the tricky part. I is a self-focusing word. 'You seem angry [is better.] You changes the focus of what the sentence is. 'You seem afraid' causes the person to think about it. Do I seem afraid? Once you try to get people to admit things, the dynamic changes."
Read more from LifeHacker.com.au [HERE]. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Leadership and Hostage Negotiation Skills


He had a knife to his throat and a gun to his head. But that never stopped this former hostage from teaching the art of good communication across the globe



Dr George Kohlrieser has in his five decades as a hostage negotiator been taken hostage four times while on duty. His mantra: You gotta keep em talking and form a bond

How closely are hostage negotiation and leadership linked?
An important aspect of hostage negotiation is to change the mindset of a hostage taker to give up their weapons and hostages and surrender. What a hostage negotiator has to do is create a bond and through that understand the trigger for the incident. In 95% of the cases, the hostage takers give up their weapons.
Read more from Edexlive.com [HERE]. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

‘Sex slave for sale’: Inside an abducted model’s 6 days of captivity

Italian investigators re-enact the in-suitcase transportation of a model who was drugged by a group, held in a farmhouse and advertised on the internet for sale as a sex slave

To the young British model, the assignment probably seemed routine: Travel to Milan, pose for a few photographs.
Just another ad campaign, her agency told her.
But when she arrived at an address near Milan’s Central Station, any semblance of routine vanished...
“The victim was doped with ketamine,” an Italian prosecutor said at Friday’s arraignment of one of her accused kidnappers, Polish national Lukasz Pawel Herba, 30.

From an original demand of $300,000, the captors reduced their demands to about $60,000, a sum that was never paid.

Read more from the NY Post [HERE]. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

'A World Without Suicide'

This in-depth article on suicide from TheAtlantic.com is worth taking the time to read. It shares, among many other things, the insight from a survivor who attempted suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 

Kevin Hines shares the following in the article:
Kevin rejects the notion that anyone “chooses” to take their own life. “It’s not a choice when a voice in your head, a third party to your own conscience, is literally screaming in your head, ‘You must die, jump now.’” 
He also challenges the idea that suicide is a selfish act, because to a person in extremis, compelled to believe they are a burden, living can feel like the selfish act. 
Yet he also remembers feeling how little it would have taken to deter him that morning in 2000. “I had made a pact with myself, and many survivors report this, that if anyone said to me that day, ‘Are you OK?’ or ‘Is something wrong?’ or ‘Can I help you?’—I narrowed it down to those three phrases—I would tell them everything and beg for help.” 
As he sat on the bus, where he remembers crying, yelling aloud at the voices to stop, nobody said anything. “It still baffles me that human beings can’t see someone like that, wailing in pain, and say something kind—anything,” he says.



Kevin Hines, who speaks across the world is someone Hostage Negotiation conference organizers should consider having at their next conference.  This helps negotiators with comprehending a key effective negotiator concept- empathy. 

So what's the deal with empathy? Here's what I had to say in a previous article [HERE]:
If we as negotiators are trying to influence a behavioral change in the person, it is necessary to understand their current emotions and behavior.  
Empathy is just that- seeing and understanding the perspective of another.  You need this in order to be an effective negotiator and you need to demonstrate it by taking your time to listen (yep, a pattern is developing here- each of the five skills work off of each other).  
Read more on the general importance of empathy here (really, I suggest you read it).
Read the full article at The Atlantic [HERE]. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Al-Qaeda releases South African hostage after almost 6 years

Stephen McGown was kidnapped in Timbuktu, Mali in November 2011 and has finally been released and allowed to return home.



...The Al-Qaeda kidnappers had reportedly demanded a $5 million ransom for his release, but the South African government rejected it and Nkoana-Mashabane said in her news statement that no ransom was paid for McGown’s return. One of his fellow travelers, John Gustafsson from Sweden, was released by Al-Qaeda in June, while a Dutch national, Sjaak Rijke, was freed back in 2015 during a raid by French special forces.

Read more from BlastingNews.com [HERE].

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dramatic standoff with potential jumper on Verrazano stretches into 5th hour


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Police have engaged in a dramatic, five-hour standoff with a potential jumper on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Wednesday morning, as they attempt to talk the 30-year-old man off the ledge of the span.
Financial issues might have prompted the apparent suicide attempt, said a source with knowledge of the investigation.
Read more fro SILive.com [HERE].