Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Surrender Ritual

After working for many hours, or even days, the conclusion of a crisis and hostage incident can be incredibly tense and stressful.  Wanting to avoid any pitfalls that could derail the negotiation, the negotiator has to avoid the desire to move quickly with the subject turning him or herself voluntarily over to the authorities.

The following article by Dr. Laurence Miller from PoliceOne.com describes more about the "surrender ritual":


The Surrender RitualNobody likes to surrender. Yet, by definition, the successful resolution of a hostage crisis entails the safe release of the hostages and surrender of the HT to law enforcement authorities. Thus, anything the negotiating team can do to make this easier for the HT will work in favor of saving lives. Trying to manipulate or intimidate a HT into capitulating may have the opposite effect because few people want to give up as a sign of weakness. Rather, a successful resolution will usually involve convincing the HT to come out on his own with as much dignity preserved as possible. 
On the strength of practical experience, a basic protocol, or surrender ritual, has evolved to guide negotiators in their efforts to safely resolve a crisis. As with all such general guidelines, each negotiating team must adapt this system to their particular situation and type of HT. To begin with, any plan must be understood, agreed to, and followed by all members of the negotiating and tactical teams. Work out how the HT will come out, how the arrest will be made, and what will happen next. Remember, the team’s initial version of the plan is not the last word; the plan may go back and forth between the negotiator and the HT until a mutually agreeable sequence is established.
When dealing with the HT, avoid the use of words like “surrender,” “give up,” or other terms that connote weakness and loss of face.  Use whatever euphemisms seem appropriate: “coming out” is a preferred term because it implies a proactive decision by the subject himself to resolve the crisis. To begin the discussion of coming out, emphasize to the HT what he has to gain by this action at the present time. Be realistic but optimistic. Minimize any damage done so far. Emphasize what bad things have not happened and the subject’s role in preventing further harm:...
Read the rest of the article [HERE]. 

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