Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Police Resilience Symposium


Police Deserve Positive Mental Health & Resilience

The international Police Resilience Symposium will take place from September 22-24, 2020. It is being co-hosted by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute.

This virtual event will bring together leading researchers in resilience and related areas under the theme of “Resilience and Well-Being NOW.”

We have specifically chosen this theme because we have to address now both the global and local-based issues that are taking a negative toll on police personnel both mentally and physically. It is when the individual and agency take responsibility for their well-being that science-based practices in resilience can help members become aware of resilience techniques in order to develop practical, positive coping strategies in order to persevere during these hard times.

Join more than 1,400 attendees from over 30 countries to learn from more than 40 speakers from across the world.

More information: www.resiliencesymposium.org 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Resilience Goes Hand-in-Hand With This

Let me start off with the spoiler alert in the headline: It’s self-compassion. Yes, self-compassion. Who would have thought that a critical component to resilience is the hard-core, science-backed practice of self-compassion? Not me.

Are you skeptical like I initially was? Here are results from a research study by Rabon and her colleagues (2019) for you to think about:

  1. Self-compassion in military veterans negatively correlated with depressive and PTSD symptoms, angershame, thwarted belongingness, and feeling like a burden to others.
  2. Bolstering self-compassion in military veterans can also help reduce suicide risk.
Read more at PsychologyToday.com [HERE].

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Hours long standoff, man armed with a spear, axe and knives arrested


Wyoming man arrested after hours-long stand-off with deputies in Rhododendron

Deputies found the suspect off Road 27. He had armed himself with a spear, axe and knives before being taken into custody.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

HERO: Saddle Brook Police Officer Coaxes Distraught Youth, 15, Off Highway Ledge


Route 46 was closed down and an air mattress was inflated beneath a Bergen County overpass as police tried to convince a troubled 15-year-old not to jump.

Officers found the Saddle Brook teen perilously perched on the Outwater Lane overpass in Garfield, near the Lodi border, around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler said.

“The juvenile felt more comfortable speaking with Officer Diaz and requested that she be the lone negotiator,” the chief explained.

...“There can be no doubt that Officer Diaz's calm, professional manner defused a very tense situation and led to the best possible outcome," he said.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The business of kidnapping: inside the secret world of hostage negotiation

 Official policy in the UK and US – unlike in many other countries – is to never make concessions to kidnappers. Those taken sometimes die as a result. Is it time to rethink? By Joel Simon

Kidnapping and ransom insurance was created in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 60s that it began to really catch on, following a spate of kidnappings in Europe by groups such as Eta in Spain, the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. The appeal was simple: in the event of a kidnapping, the insurance would provide reimbursement for ransom payment.

Read more from the Guardian [HERE].

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Questions linger in aftermath of bus shooting incident; man who was shot has schizophrenia

For years now, Grant Paul Dalton has been homeless and roaming the country, sometimes landing in pretty serious trouble with law enforcement.

But his time in Asheville almost turned deadly on Aug. 20, when Asheville police shot Dalton in the thigh after he exited a city bus, the culmination of a 90-minute standoff. The confrontation stemmed from Alcohol Beverage Control officers' attempt to serve warrants on Dalton related to July incidents in which an ABC officer was beaten and his vehicle stolen, and the earlier vandalism of an ABC vehicle. 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

UK team helps free Iranian hostages from Somali pirates

LONDON: A British team has helped secure the release of three Iranian sailors from Somali pirates, amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran over the case of the imprisoned charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.The deal for the sailors’ release involved a ransom payment of $180,000 — brokered by the UK-based Hostage Support Partnership — which was coordinated by Kenya-based former British diplomat John Steed in partnership with Leslie Edwards, a UK-based hostage-negotiation specialist. 

It ends the longest-running maritime hostage situation in the region to date, with the three men having spent five-and-a-half years in captivity.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ukraine hostages freed after President Zelensky plugs Joaquin Phoenix film


A stand-off in Ukraine has ended with security forces freeing 10 hostages from a bus in the city of Lutsk and detaining the gunman, after a bizarre intervention by the president.
Pictures showed the gunman lying on the ground after his arrest.
Just before the man's arrest, President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to comply with his demand to post a short video, with the words: "Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings."
All the hostages are unharmed.

Read more from the BBC [HERE]. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Lutsk terrorist case: View of former law enforcers


A tense situation in Lutsk city, where a twice-convicted man seized a bus and held hostage 21 people, including children and pregnant women has become yesterday’s breaking news for all the news channels of the country... Traffic in the center of the city was blocked, an operational plan "Hostage" was announced, and even Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov arrived in Lutsk on a special flight to coordinate all the units.

... Taking hostages on such ideological grounds is a rarity for Ukraine.

This is a very atypical crime for Ukraine. The kidnappers captured rich children for extortion, armed groups, organized crime groups. Mainly - for selfish motives, and here we are dealing with a person who was undergoing compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital (information about treatment was later refuted by MIA head, - ed.). Our police officers have experience of work there is no such category of criminals yet. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is very difficult or almost impossible to predict his behavior and to predict how the situation will unfold further,” says lawyer Serhiy Burlakov, who himself was previously an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Read more from 112.international [HERE]. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

What does hijacker wants: How security forces negotiate with terrorists?

That is why the art of such negotiations has its own subtleties and stages, ignorance of which will certainly entail sacrifices. For example, having heard the demands of a terrorist, a common man in the street will draw conclusions about his ambitions and psychological state, while for professional negotiators, his demands become the key to resolving the situation.

The first thing law enforcement officers should do in such a situation is to make a clear distinction between instrumental and expressive motivation. If terrorists take hostages, seize buildings or kidnap people in order to exchange them for specific results (travel abroad, capture to avoid arrest for a crime committed, seizure by mentally ill people seeking to attract attention to themselves, the achievement of any political goals), then they are driven by instrumental motivation. It is in the case of such motivation that it makes sense to enter into negotiations, during which, through skillful psychological manipulations, it is possible to achieve success by lowering the level of readiness, alertness of terrorists, neutralizing it.

Read more from 112.International [HERE]. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

An FBI hostage negotiator explains how to persuade people to wear masks


...So to improve my mask-shaming game, I consulted a source who knows how to talk to unreasonable people who might accidentally kill someone: Gary Noesner, former chief of the FBI crisis negotiation unit and author of “Stalling for Time.”

“As soon as you venture into a tone or demeanor that sounds critical, they will immediately get into a defensive posture,” says Noesner. “Whether they feel strongly about it or not, they feel compelled to defend their freedom to do what they want. So any approach like that is inevitably going to fail.”
The first thing you notice when talking to Noesner is his soothing tone. His sentences sound like ocean waves, the pitch gently rising with curious questions and falling in calm reassurances. It’s a stark contrast to the harsh assertive voice I want to use at people who don’t understand the word asymptomatic.

... He explains that using science or the law or politics won’t stop bad actors; this type of coercion requires a personal appeal. He describes that strategy as an “I message.”


Monday, April 6, 2020

Sleep: Practical Tips to Increase Resilience

Watch the video to get easy to follow tips

Lack of sleep is not a badge of honor to wear. Sleep is something we all need and all deserve it. Learn some practical, science-backed tips to help you get a good night's tonight.

...Getting sufficient sleep is closely linked with positive mental health and resilience. Think about it, having a proper night’s sleep allows you to re-energize in order to take on the expected and unexpected stressors the next day will bring. Researcher Matthew Walker explains how vital sleep is:
"Sleep appears to restore our emotional brain circuits… sleep is not a luxury that we can optionally choose to take whenever we like. It is a biological necessity, and without it, there is only so far the band will stretch before it snaps, with both cognitive and emotional consequences.” (From Southwick & Charney, 2018).

Read more at PsychologyToday.com [HERE]. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Bringing Americans Home 2020 (Those Being Held Hostage)

The James W Foley Legacy Foundation has launched its second annual review of US Government handling of hostages cases. Bringing Americans Home 2020 is based on interviews with 25 people with direct experience of hostage taking or wrongful detention, both those who were held as well as their family members.

I was honored to join the launch event hosted by New America Foundation alongside Diane Foley, Lisa Monaco, and report author Cynthia Loertscher.

2. The families of Americans wrongly detained by a foreign government have not benefited from the changes stemming from the 2015 review and report poor satisfaction regarding their interaction with the US government

Read the full list and get the link to more at Rachel Brigg's website [HERE].

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Abducted Macon toddler safe, father now in custody in Florida

After almost six hours of a police standoff, the Tampa Police Department confirm that Caesar Crockett surrendered to their hostage negotiation team.
They say they talked to him for several hours as they came in contact with him at 1:30 p.m.
Read more at Fox17.com [HERE]. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Real Resilience When We Need It Most

Watch the short video above

Regardless of who you are and what your path is, we are in tough times to say the least. We have to make sure we are looking after ourselves. It doesn’t have to be complicated and we don’t have to attempt to try and stick with unrealistic, positive mental health practices and resilience techniques.

I created the warr;or21 program to share a practical and neuroscience-backed program in order to help people further develop their resiliency and enhance their mental health.

Everyone deserves this.

It was originally created for first responders but now participants include people from all professions and students from across the world. This article is adapted from that program and for everyone to think about their mental health and importantly try the exercise at the end.

To start, let this sink in: Before you can take care of others, you must start with yourself. That’s not foolish, it’s smart.

Read more at PsychologyToday.com [HERE].

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Police shot Surrey hostage by accident during standoff: IIO

B.C.’s civilian police watchdog has cleared the RCMP of wrongdoing in connection with the death of a man and woman during a hostage-taking and standoff in Surrey last March.

...The Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team (ERT) was called to the scene around 10 p.m. and a crisis negotiation tried to talk with the man and woman inside...

Around 3 a.m., Crosson was heard yelling “It’s a good day to die.”
In a recording of a 911 call, he can be heard saying, “You tell those pigs to get the f–k away from my house or I will start killing people.”

Video from the standoff [HERE]

Read more via Globalnew.ca [HERE]. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

After Long Standoff, Coral Springs Police Arrested Laborer Who Held Woman Hostage for Five Hours

Zettel pinned the woman down on a bed with his body for about 40 minutes, police said. When he let her use the bathroom, he threw her to the ground. Their fight continued in the kitchen where he grabbed a hammer and told her: “I’m a serial killer…I’m gonna kill you.” Zettel then grabbed her neck and tried to choke her.

...Zettel refused to come out, police said. Police surrounded the house and eventually came in to find Zettel hiding in an SUV in the garage. It took a police dog to get him out of the SUV.

Read more via TapInto.net [HERE]. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

ICYMI: 5-hour prison hostage standoff in Ireland ends after candy bar exchange

Irish authorities were able to resolve an inmate hostage hours-long standoff at a prison with a chocolate candy bar.

The ordeal at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise on Saturday began with one inmate being taken hostage by two other inmates who barricaded themselves in a cell. One of the inmates was armed with a weapon, the Irish Post reported. (Video Via Fox News)

The Prison Officers’ Association said that the prisoners' list was "unclear," although they did demand drugs and "no more sleeping on mattresses." They also asked for tobacco, Swiss rolls, and Mars bars.

...This isn't the first time that officers have reached the "F@ck it, let's try giving him a snack" stage of crisis negotiation. Last July, an Oklahoma man refused to stop for an officer who was trying to pull him over for making an illegal turn. Robert Scott instead fled to his trailer and barricaded himself inside.

Read the article at Vice News [HERE]. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Kidnapping suspect charged after morning hostage situation in Tupelo

... According to Tupelo Police, Doss initially refused to come outside to talk with officers. The SWAT team and a negotiated were called to the scene.

Ninety minutes later, Doss released the two women unharmed and surrendered to police. The two hostages stepped out of the home into police custody, along with the suspect. No one was injured during the standoff.
Read the full story at WTVA.com [HERE]

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How.

Sharpen those listening skills and take some time to read about this perspective

Lessons in the art of listening, from a C.I.A. agent, a focus group moderator and more.

When was the last time you listened to someone? Really listened, without thinking about what you wanted to say next, glancing down at your phone or jumping in to offer your opinion? And when was the last time someone really listened to you? Was so attentive to what you were saying and whose response was so spot on that you felt truly understood?

... Research indicates that when people who don’t know each other well ask each other these types of questions, they feel more connected than if they spent time together accomplishing a task.

Read more from the NY Times [HERE]. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Talking With A Terrorist

I recently attended the NTOA Hostage Negotiators Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Aside of listening to some great presentations, I also conducted a research study with +200 negotiators. 

The best way to prepare for a negotiation is practicing for it. In this particular study, negotiators were able to practice in a terrorist scenario where the communication took place via text messaging. If you're interested in this research I'm conducting as part of my role as a research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute (and also part of Lipscomb University), let me know. 

To add realism to the scenario, the language used by the terrorist is taken from a real-life incident. 

Don't imagine how you would respond in this type of situation, challenge yourself and your team. I'm playing on expanding the study to other teams across the US this year. If you have any interest, email me: mediator.jeff [at] gmail.com. 

Talking With A Terrorist (Research Study) 
We hope to never be involved in a terrorist incident but if it happens, are you prepared to negotiate? Participate in this research study where you get to practice with dialogue from a real hostage incident during a terrorist attack.  

You'll have a chance to practice your active listening skills, figure out how rapport building works in this type of tense environment, and determine what is the best strategy to gain voluntary compliance. You'll be using your own mobile device to interact with actual statements the terrorist made during his attack. This research study is interactive so be ready!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Wife of British-Iranian engineer in Tehran prison fears Soleimani strike has destroyed all hope of release

The wife of a British-Iranian engineer held in prison in Tehran has said she fears he no longer stands a “hope in hell” of being released after the US strike on Iran’s top commander led the region to the brink of war.

Sherry Izadi, 56, told the Telegraph she was “terrified” that any chance of negotiation between the UK and Iran over Anoosheh Ashoori’s 10-year sentence was over.

Read more from the Telegraph [HERE]. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Standoff at Illinois credit union ends peacefully when armed suspect surrenders after 6 hours

An armed robber held a woman hostage for more than six hours before surrendering to police at a credit union in the northern Illinois city of Rockford on Friday night, police said...

“The FBI negotiators worked seamlessly with the Rockford negotiators, and I could not give them enough credit," Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said. "The FBI really stepped up to help us out.”

Read more from the NY Daily News [HERE] and the Daily Beast [HERE].