Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Principles of Crisis Negotiation

Principles of crisis negotiation- by Scott Tillema

As police crisis negotiators, we come from a wide variety of backgrounds, agencies big and small, urban and rural. We have received training from a wide variety of different sources, teaching us various techniques of communication and influence. Yet, we do common work and and have a common goal, to use verbal influence to peacefully resolve a critical incident. Whether it be a hostage situation or a single individual in crisis, if we expect to find success in our negotiations, there are a few principles that are consistent and fundamental.

1.      Seek first to understand.
We cannot solve a problem if we don't understand what it is. It is much more efficient for us to start off a negotiation by telling someone to put the gun down or come off the ledge, but how can we realistically expect to change a person's behavior without knowing and appreciating their mindset?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Qatar royals among the 26 hostages freed in bargain

In this photo released by Qatar News Agency, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, second left in front row, receives the released Qataris at the Doha airport in Doha, Qatar Friday, April 21, 2017.

(Fox News)- AGHDAD – Qatar has secured the release of 26 hostages after nearly a year and a half in captivity, including members of its ruling family, in what became possibly the region's most complex and sensitive hostage negotiation deal in recent years.

Several people with knowledge of the talks and a person involved in the negotiations said the hostage deal was linked to one of the largest population transfers in Syria's six-year-long civil war...

The complexity of the talks highlights Qatar's role as an experienced and shrewd facilitator in hostage negotiations -- this time involving members of the Gulf Arab state's ruling family.

It also raised allegations that the tiny energy rich nation paid millions of dollars to an al-Qaida-linked group...

Read more [HERE].

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Court: Serious failings in Russian response to Beslan hostage crisis

(CNN)The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that there had been "serious failings" in the Russian authorities' handling of a 2004 terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, where more than 330 people were killed.
The case was brought by 409 relatives of those killed or injured and survivors of the attack, in which more than 1,000 people were held hostage for more than two days in a school gymnasium rigged with explosives by heavily armed Chechen separatists.
More than 180 children were among those killed by the end of the siege, which began as the school held a ceremony to mark the start of a new school year.
Read more [HERE].
  • Read an in-depth review, specifically from the hostage negotiation perspective, by Adam Dolnik [HERE]. 
  • Here's my 'Lessons Learned' on the incident [HERE]. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shootout: Somali Pirates Attempt To Hijack A Boat

(Via NY Daily News)-A cargo ship said ahoy to Somali pirates with a hail of gunfire.

Video posted Thursday shows a private security crew fighting off two skiffs of high-seas bandits.

By Saturday it had gone viral with more than 6 million views of the recording, which resembles something out of a “Call of Duty” video game.

More [HERE].

Monday, April 17, 2017

At What Cost? The Burden of Wearing the Badge

The inaugural Police Mental Health Symposium will provide a forum for policing agencies to discuss the challenges and global best practice in mental health policy. Experts and policing leaders will convene in Washington, DC on June 2. The symposium is open to local, state and federal policing agencies, as well as partner agencies in relevant fields, and will be hosted by the Australian Federal Police.

See the flyer [HERE]. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seattle PD negotiators take to the web to explain tactics in Tuesday's crisis call

SEATTLE - As the man paced up and down Third Avenue, armed with a knife, Seattle police Detective Beth Wareing tried to have a conversation with him by yelling across the street.
Wareing, a member of the department’s hostage negotiations team, said she didn’t think about the honking, the perturbed commuters or how the incident was disrupting the Tuesday evening commute. Her sole focus was getting the distraught man to drop the knife and listen.
“Basically, it was reaching out to him and reminding him he had things to live for and he had people who cared about him,” Wareing said Thursday.

...Waltz and Wareing used the Reddit forum to explain that negotiations are about “building a connection” with people in crisis and that there’s no “magical word or phrase that causes people to give up.”
Read more at Komo News [HERE]. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hostage negotation phone calls from Jacksonville hostage situation

A man held 13 people hostage at the Community First Credit Union in December of 2016 and the negotator phone calls have been released exclusively to First Coast News.
...For the first time were hearing the audio recording between a hostage negotiator and a Jacksonville man threatening to kill 13 people at a credit union in northwest Jacksonville.  
Suspect: My family are the only people who could save these people. Do you understand that? Do you understand that?
Negotiator: No, you’re the one who can save these people”
Read more from First Coast News and watch the video [HERE]. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Somali man accused of kidnapping Australian lured to Canada in elaborate sting

Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan during their kidnap ordeal.
AMAZING details have emerged of an elaborate trap set by police to catch one of the alleged kidnappers who held Queensland photographer Nigel Brennan hostage in Somalia for 15 months.
A court has heard a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer spent five years convincing Ali Omar Ader that he was a book agent to lure him halfway around the world and arrest him.
Police claim Ader, 42, was “one of the main negotiators’’ for militants who took Mr Brennan, from Bundaberg, and Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout captive in August 2008.
Read more from the [HERE]. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

6 Habits That Can Fight Depressive Symptoms

Image credit: Brandon Warren

Have a look at this from the crisis/hostage negotiator perspective- especially Point 6 brings to mind how certain strategies can be used later on during the negotiation (after utilizing active listening and acknowledging and de-escalting negative emotions). 

6. Ask Socratic questions
A technique called ‘Socratic questioning’ can help depressed people recover, a new study finds.
Socratic questioning is used by many therapists to help patients explore new perspectives on themselves and the world.
Socratic questioning differs from ‘normal’ questioning by focusing on fundamental issues and concerns.
For example, if a patient feels their life is a failure because of a divorce, the therapist might ask:
  • Is everyone who experienced divorce a failure?
  • Can you think of anyone for whom that is not true?
  • How does being divorced seem to translate into being a failure as a person for you?
  • What evidence is there that you have succeeded, and thus not been a “total failure?”
What do you think- how could you possibly include this into your negotiating strategy? 
Read the full article at the (great) PsyBlog [HERE]. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Las Vegas Strip reopens after lengthy standoff with ‘delusional’ gunman on bus


Parts of the Las Vegas Strip were closed for more than four hours today as Metro Police negotiated with an apparently “delusional” man suspected of killing one person and wounding another in a late morning shooting on a double-decker bus.

The man barricaded himself inside the bus near the Cosmopolitan which forced police to shutdown the Strip from Flamingo Road to Harmon Avenue while negotiating his surrender.

Read more from the Las Vegas Sun [HERE]. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The day terrorists took D.C. hostage

( On a spring day in 1977, members of a fringe Muslim group, armed with shotguns and swords, took 100 members of a Jewish organization in Washington hostage. The group then stormed a rival mosque, holding prayergoers at gunpoint. And two blocks from the White House, the militants shot their way into the District’s government building, killing a reporter and a security guard, and leaving Marion Barry, then a council member, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest.

...“You just keep talking. You keep waiting them out,” Maurice Cullinane, who was D.C. police chief at the time, said Thursday.

...Ambassadors from Egypt and Iran, whose citizens were among the 149 hostages, became involved in negotiations.

Read more [HERE]. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Feelings Other Than PTSD For Kidnap Victims and Hostages

(Via HostageUS)- Neil Greenberg discusses different ways hostage survivors can cope if they do not suffer from PTSD.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Kidnapping Subject Uses Social Media To Taunt Police

(Via A Tennessee man wanted in connection with the Sunday kidnapping of his ex-girlfriend and one-year-old daughter was arrested in Peach County on Monday morning.
The arrested happened at Pilot gas station off of Interstate 75 at exit 146 about an hour after the suspect maintained his innocence and claimed authorities had twisted the story of what really happened at a Springfield, Tenn. Sonic restaurant one day earlier.
...The pair headed south after the Sunday incident while Ruland continued to taunt police with Facebook posts on local social media, the release said.
When reached for comment about the situation, Springfield Police Chief David Thompson called it very unusual.
"Both the original incident with him kidnapping the mother and child from Sonic, and him commenting on social media are not normal occurrences for Springfield," he said.
Read more from [HERE].