Monday, August 31, 2015

Obama to name James O'Brien hostage affairs envoy

President Barack Obama appointed a former State Department official to the new position of special envoy for hostage affairs, the White House announced Friday. 
Jim O'Brien will work with foreign governments to secure the safe return of American hostages, according to a statement from Lisa Monaco, the President's Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. O'Brien will also work directly with the families of hostages.
Read more from [HERE]. 
From the White House statement:
In this role, Mr. O’Brien will report to the Secretary of State and will work closely with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell also established under the Executive Order and the rest of the U.S. Government to synchronize diplomatic efforts in support of comprehensive strategies to bring home American hostages. He will also work directly with the families of hostages as part of the U.S. Government team dedicated to securing the safe return of their loved ones.
Read the full statement [HERE]. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lt. Jack Cambria, NYPD Hostage Negotiation Team Commander, Retires


Lt. Jack Cambria, commander of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, will retire Friday, after 33 years of protecting the city through respect.

“He’s trained hundreds of officers, worked thousands of scenes and saved untold lives,” Bratton said. “In the process, he’s helped the NYPD change how police handle these situations around the country and even the world.” read more from the NY Daily News [HERE].

Monday, August 10, 2015

Crisis Negotiation: From Suicide to Terrorism Intervention

(From the Paul J. Taylor Lab)
Abstract: This chapter uses an account of a real-life crisis negotiation to explore what is know about these high-stakes, emotion-fueled interactions. We begin by reviewing literature relevant to four different interaction periods within the case: first impressions and the verbal and nonverbal factors that effect initial exchanges; rapport development and the communicative skills that facilitate information gathering; sensemaking and the frameworks that help negotiators understand the motivations of their interlocutor; and, influence strategies and their impact on moving a perpetrator from antagonism to cooperation. 

After reviewing these phases, we consider the impact of contextual factors, such as perpetrator’s background and type of incident, on the way in which the phases occur. We then conclude by identifying areas ripe for future research. We discuss the need to better understanding influence across cultures, the sensemaking of negotiators over time, and the experiences of victims. 

Snippet: The instant impression (e.g., first 30 seconds) and opening gambit (e.g., 5-10 minutes) of a negotiator is critical to how a crisis incident becomes framed and how it then unfolds. This period of the interaction is typically characterized by extreme emotions and mistrust, with perpetrators struggling for dominance and protecting their face rather than exchanging information or bargaining (Donohue, Kaufman, Smith, & Ramesh, 1991). 

Sometimes, negotiations do not get past this stage. Indeed, a much cited anecdote in the literature is of the negotiation that lasted hours because the negotiator did not offer the perpetrator an opportunity to come out; the negotiation continued because the perpetrator, who has no expectation or ‘script’ about how the interaction should unfold, did not realize that surrendering was an option (McMains & Mullins, 2001).

Authors: Simon Wells, Paul J. Taylor Lancaster University, UK and Ellen Giebels University of Twente, The Netherlands

Read the full paper [HERE].