Monday, January 26, 2015

Quick point on Empathy


"Empathy should not be confused with sympathy, 
which indicates pity. In crisis intervention, 
the goal is not to feel sorry for the person in crisis, but to 
establish a relationship through effective communication whereby positive steps can be taken toward
resolving the crisis in a collaborative fashion."

from: Vecchi, G.M. (2009). Conflict & crisis communication: the behavioral influence stairway model and suicide intervention. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 12, 32-29.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Extra Negotiation

The Allen Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team has received recognition for a different kind of work outside the typical line of duty….
“When people reach a point that they call a suicide line, they’ve usually lost all hope and they feel helpless,” he said. “You build a rapport with them, and you use active listening skills. You’re listening to them more than you’re talking.”
Now, once a month, the hostage negotiation team – Felty, Such, and officers Matt Johnson and Richard Ferguson – heads to the Dallas center to work the suicide hotline. Felty said the officers usually take 15-25 calls per shift, and that the average call lasts 45 minutes.
Read more at [HERE]. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Portland Bureau crisis team wins top prize in competition

Congratulations to Portland Police Bureau’s Crisis Negotiation Team  for winning the 25th Annual Crisis Negotiator Competition in Texas.

Read more from the Portland Tribune [HERE]. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to get what you want: top negotiators on the tricks of their trade

Ayesha Vardag (The Divorce Lawyer)-  Emotions can completely derail any sort of sensible compromise. It’s also common for people to fixate on details. I’ve had people fight over furniture, coffee machines, even ski suits. Those items become sticking points, because they are in some way emotive. I advise them to forget about the small stuff and just focus on getting what they want.

Christopher Voss- (The Hostage Negotiator)- I like to define negotiation as emotional intelligence on steroids. The key to success is navigating the other person’s emotions. In a hostage situation, emotions might seem to be larger than normal, but it doesn’t mean they’re any different. I do think introspective people make better negotiators because they think about human dynamics more. They don’t miss what’s going on.
How to handle a difficult situation

Elizabeth O’Shea- (The Parenting Guru) Pre-negotiate tantrums. The first time, you can’t do a lot about it – you weren’t expecting it. But you need to plan ahead for when it happens again. Talk to them and ask questions.
Read the full article from The Guardian [HERE]. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Crisis Negotiator: The Key to Resolution Is Listening

"Every situation is different and whatever brought a person, or precipitated an event, to where a person felt that they were in crisis is different for everybody," Lt. Bavencoff said. "So we have to listen to find out what that is, to see how we can resolve that situation."

A tense standoff Thursday morning where a father led police on a pursuit with his four children in the car ended with no injuries, thanks to negotiations with police over a cell phone.
A seasoned negotiator with the San Diego Sheriff's Department said the key to diffusing a crisis situation is listening and genuine communication.

Lt. Christina Bavencoff, commander for the department's Crisis Negotiation Team, said the priority is ensuring everyone goes home safely. Thursday afternoon, that was the successful outcome after police took Daniel Perez into custody and rescued his children on a San Diego freeway.


Thursday, January 1, 2015


The Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York
The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College
Invite everyone to the monthly

NYC-DR Roundtable Breakfast

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue
Room L61 
[new building lobby]

January 15, 2015
8 am – 10 am
If you would like to attend, please register online by clicking here.



Lt. Jack Cambria of the NYPD

New York City is the birthplace of police hostage negotiations and home to a special team of officers which responds to those calls where officers encourage parties to talk.  Police hostage negotiators negotiate with the unknown on the scene where parties are emotionally charged and audiences are common.  At this Roundtable, Lieutenant Jack Cambria, the chief hostage negotiator of New York Police Department's Hostage Negotiation Team since 2001 will reflect on the HNT's past and discuss criteria for selecting negotiators, the composition of the team, how police negotiations work, the role of emotions and rationality in hostage negotiations, and how negotiators build rapport under stress.

Lt. Jack Cambria is an active member of the New York City Police Department who has currently contributed 33 years of exemplary service. He served for 16 years in the Emergency Service Unit (ESU), whose primary focus is to provide Rescue, SWAT, and Counter-Terrorism services to the City of New York. He was assigned to ESU in the ranks of Police Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant, (his current rank).  He has extensive experience and certifications in all facets of these operations, and is a New York State Certified Police Instructor. He has received numerous awards for bravery and dedicated service. He has responded to and served on many high profile assignments such as both World Trade Center disasters, plane crashes, and a variety of hostage and barricade situations, particularly violent and suicidal individuals. He also served as the Rescue Team Manager of the FEMA-Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. Because of his solid foundation of achievements, Jack was assigned to his current position, in command of the agencies elite Hostage Negotiation Team. His current duties consist of coordinating the efforts of over 100 negotiators, who respond throughout New York City to all hostage related assignments. He is responsible for the training and certification of all new negotiators and refresher training of all current members of the team. Jack has conducted in-service training for many International, Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement agencies. In 2006, he and some select members of his team were dispatched to the U.S. Military Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to conduct hostage negotiation training for members of the United States Joint Task Force. He has also served as a technical consultant in the entertainment industry, where he advised on the major motion pictures, ‘The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,’ ‘Jack Ryan,’ and ‘The Amazing Spider II;’ additionally for the television series, ‘Life on Mars,’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ ‘Unforgettable,’ ‘Elementary,’ and currently, ‘The Mysteries of Laura.’ Jack has authored several scholarly articles on negotiations and earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where he is currently serving as an adjunct professor.