Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Crisis Hostage Negotiation Newsletter [Oct. 18, 2022]

Hello everyone,

If you read one article, make it this first one below. Just a quick disclaimer as it can be triggering for some as it talks about the horrors of policing, and specific examples this Aussie negotiator went through. Ultimately, know that his story is one of hope. 

And, let it serve as a reminder, we are humans doing incredible work but we are human nonetheless. It's ok to reach out for help because after all, that is what real strength is and each of you have it in you. 

Before moving on, one quick announcement. I am happy to officially announce for the 3rd straight year, the resilience symposium will be back. This year's theme is:

2022 Resilience Symposium: In Awe of Space

In this year's 2-day virtual event you will learn about the awe-inspiring work of current and former NASA employees as well as other space experts. Last year we had over 1,000 attendees from +30 countries. This year it will once again be free to attend. 

The hostage negotiator on life, death and redemption

Many of us think of the hard edge of policing as an urban problem and that the work of country cops is a little more gentle. The truth is, in the city there are specialists. In the bush, you just have to find the answers yourself.
...“I had a career that was surrounded by death and more death.”

[Ransomware negotiation]
Ransomware Negotiation Evolves, as Victims Hope for Discounts
Last month, a ransomware negotiator working for a European manufacturing company received an unexpected chat message from the intruders who’d hacked his client.

The negotiator, who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the incident, is among a growing field of security pros who help companies that are victims of ransomware attacks haggle with the hackers, trying to convince them to reduce their demands.
...Richardson, who works on behalf of the families of American hostages and detainees, has twice traveled to Moscow to help free the WNBA superstar and ex-US Marine — both of whom have been wrongfully detained by Russia for extended periods of time.

[How is your team training for school incidents?]
Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiations Team Recently Trained on School SafetyCrisis negotiators trained for school safety situations during recent exercises at Rockvale High School, said Lt. Derek Oeser of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiations Team.

[Using third-party intermediaries] 
Local attorney helps Dearborn police negotiate with active shooter
DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — When Gabi Silver’s phone rang Thursday, she had no idea she’d be spending more than four hours helping negotiate with a barricaded gunman at a Dearborn hotel.

“At some point are you thinking I can’t believe this is happening? Repeatedly I thought it,” said Gabi Silver, attorney who negotiated with shooter.

[Negotiating with a cop in crisis]
Retired Seattle cop arrested after five-hour standoff in Mount Vernon, Wash.

[How's your equipment doing!?]
SPD looking to buy new Hostage Negotiation Team vehicle to replace one damaged by mice, water

[Kidnap Negotiation/Terrorism]
The Vatican’s fraud and corruption trial took a dramatic twist Wednesday when a once-powerful cardinal challenged the Vatican’s police commissioner on the stand about one of the more peculiar tangents of the case: the Vatican’s half-million euro payments to a self-styled security analyst who, with Pope Francis’ blessing, helped arrange negotiations for the release of a nun held hostage by Islamic militants.

[International Negotiation]
Taliban release American Mark Frerichs in prisoner swap
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to solve problems by negotiation with all, including the United States," Muttaqi said, per Reuters.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Crisis Hostage Negotiation Newsletter [07.07.22]

Increasing Crisis Hostage Negotiator Effectiveness: Embracing Awe and Other Resilience Practices 

This exploratory Article examines the skills that make law enforcement negotiators effective and proposes how experiencing awe and a variety of other resilience practices can potentially enhance their abilities. 

Read more HERE, share your thoughts on the LinkedIn post HERE

Police officers pose as TV news crew to end hostage situation

The suspect agreed to release his hostage on one condition: a news crew would broadcast his complaints.
Read more HERE

‘The birthplace of hostage negotiation’: inside a groundbreaking 1973 standoff

In compelling new film Hold Your Fire, a siege that pitted black robbers against white US police led to an unlikely outcome.

... “[Those movies] tend to tell a false story about heroism and manhood that is enormously destructive to American males,” says Forbes on a separate Zoom call from a friend’s apartment in New York. “We always valorize the macho soldier or the Navy Seal. Making this film, I wanted to valorize the 99lb Jewish intellectual with a big shelf of books.”

Forbes, speaking with a calming, mellow and thoughtful drawl, is describing the late Dr Harvey Schlossberg, the godfather of hostage negotiators who died just last year after filming interviews for Hold Your Fire.
Read more and watch the trailer HERE.

Columbus PD’s Hostage Crisis Negotiation Team sees high success rate over the last decade
“One thing you got to have is dedicated people, and we do. I’m just fortunate that we have good people on this team, and it doesn’t come down to me. It’s a team effort, and it doesn’t matter if I’m doing the negotiating or somebody else on the team; when we get this person to come out, it’s a win for all of us. So, it’s not it’s not me. It’s the team that should take the credit for it,” Lt. McCarty shares.
Read more HERE

Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis Review: 54 Hours Of Horror, Straight Out Of A Movie
Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis is a true-crime documentary released on Netflix on 8 June 2022. The hostage crisis actually happened in 1988, in West Germany and the documentary is entirely made from real footage from media and CCTV cameras. It is directed by Volker Heise and shows how two criminals rob a bank, take two hostages and embark on an odyssey across Germany.
Read more HERE.

Crisis negotiation – what I learned from my first deployment
Sergeant Ben Hanson, South Yorkshire Police (United Kingdom)

An acute crisis incident occurred in which the subject, a young woman, was sitting on the edge of the top floor of a 19-storey car park.

I joined a colleague (Negotiator 1), who had been with me on my national course. This was our first full-on crisis deployment and, as I arrived, I had a good idea of how he might be feeling.

Looking up at the car park, I could see how high it was. I’m not great with heights. I could feel the fear rising as the adrenaline coursed through me, but I just had to suck it up and get on with it.

Once I got to the top, my training kicked in. I knew the risk was extremely high, as the subject was regularly moving, as if to jump. Her welfare was of paramount importance, and so we intervened regularly to distract her from jumping.
Read more HERE.

Multi-agency crisis negotiation course begins at training center in Oriskany (NY)
Crisis negotiators from police agencies across the state gathered at the New York State Preparedness Center in Oriskany on Wednesday for the start of the first-ever advanced crisis negotiation course.

The course trains negotiators on best practices to deescalate tense situations through the use of real-world scenarios, like someone acting manic or threatening suicide while armed.

"We are all very fortunate to have the State Preparedness Center up here, it is top notch, it is right in our backyard and you got instructors from all over the state," said Sgt. Benny Perra of the Utica Police Department. "It is just a wealth of knowledge up here and we are just looking to advance our skills as crisis negotiators."
Read more HERE.

IS terrorists who kidnapped James Foley ignored efforts to negotiate, court hears
The Islamic State terrorists who kidnapped American journalist James Foley never made serious attempts to negotiate a ransom before brutally executing him, family members have told a court.
Read more HERE.

Journalists will be safer if US changes tack on kidnapping
The American no-concessions approach could be justified if it made Americans safer, as President Obama argued. But there is little evidence that this is the case. Numerous studies have concluded that kidnapping is largely a crime of opportunity—terrorist groups generally nab foreign hostages without checking passports.

Brian Jenkins, a former US Green Beret and current Rand Corporation analyst—and one of the nation’s leading experts on hostage policy—put it this way: “The most powerful determinant of whether or not there will be further kidnappings is not the policy of the government, but the fate of kidnappers or their organization. If kidnappers are apprehended and appropriately punished…then kidnapping will decline. If this is not done, then it does not make any difference what the policy is.”
Read more HERE.

Summer Reading
On your next trip to the beach, grab some reading material:

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Crisis Hostage Negotiation Newsletter [May 4, 2022]

Manhunts: A Role for Crisis Negotiators

Over the last 20 years, the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU) has been involved in several significant, internationally known manhunt investigations, including those targeting the Washington, D.C., snipers and the Boston Marathon bombers. With today’s cell phones and social media, crisis negotiators have enhanced the goals of law enforcement in manhunts.

This article addresses several methods negotiators can use to increase the likelihood of apprehending subjects and reduce the risk to law enforcement. Additionally, the authors offer case examples to illustrate lessons learned and best practices...

I highly recommend you read this full article from the FBI Bulletin here

What Trevor Reed Reveals about Joe Biden’s Cautious Approach to Releasing American Hostages
President Joe Biden waited until former Marine Trevor Reed was out of Moscow, had been successfully exchanged for a Russian prisoner in Turkey, and was safely on a plane bound for the U.S. before calling Reed’s family.
Reed had spent nearly 3 years in a Russian jail after being arrested in 2019 on charges of assaulting police in Moscow....
Reed’s release comes at a time when experts involved in helping negotiate the release of Americans detained overseas are seeing an uptick in Americans being arrested and held as bargaining chips, including in Venezuela, Iran, China. Venezuela recently released some Americans, after a visit from a high-level U.S. delegation, and holds several others.
Read more from Time.com here

In Nigeria, A Hostage Negotiator's Big Test: Freeing His Wife
... Using only his iPhone, Mr. Tumburkai has become part of an informal world of volunteer negotiators - representing families, communities, and themselves - working to bring hostages back home. 

Meet the Fortune Teller-Approved Negotiation Tactic Used by Execs at Samsung, McDonald's, and More
By using a psychological technique called the Forer effect (named after psychologist Bertram Forer), which often involves making flattering but general statements about the person you're trying to influence, you can quickly develop a rapport with people--and you can get them to open up. It's a trick that Washington, D.C., publicist Adele Cehrs and New York City-based former FBI crisis hostage negotiator Chip Massey commonly teach clients through their consulting firm, Convincing Company.
Catchy title right? Some good tips and reminders, have a look here. 

U.S. reclassifies WNBA star Brittney Griner as 'wrongfully detained' by Russia
A source close to Griner also confirmed Monday that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, who has worked privately for years as an international hostage negotiator, agreed to work on Griner's case last week. Experts have said Richardson's involvement would be a crucial sign that her case has moved into a new realm.
Until now, Griner's personal team had followed State Department advice to keep a low profile so as not to make her a more valuable asset to Vladimir Putin's government.
Defusing dangerous situations: How Tucson PD's Hostage Negotiators answer crisis calls
“We really have to meet people with a sense of human-ness,” she explained. “We’re not really there trying to be like ‘Who, what, when, why and where?’ That traditional cop.”
The team receives about 30 calls a year...
Read more and watch the video at Kgun9.com here

Research: Current trends in hostage/crisis negotiation nomenclature and training
The survey obtained responses from 46 states that included municipal, county and state agencies, ranging in size from less than 25 officers to over 2,500. Negotiation teams represented in the survey ranged from having over 50 negotiators to areas where it was necessary to band together and create regional teams...

In addition to the previous eligibility requirements, over 43% of respondents stated that their teams allowed specific non-sworn members to join their negotiation teams, with psychologists (30%) and dispatchers (12%) forming the largest groups.

11 Hours of Fear, Negotiation and Finally, Relief
The F.B.I. identified Malik Faisal Akram, a British national, as the man who took hostages in a Texas synagogue on Saturday. He was killed during the rescue operation

“The negotiation team had a high frequency and duration of contact with him,” Mr. DeSarno said. There were times when the communication ceased, he said. The “relationship” between Mr. Akram and the negotiators, according to Mr. DeSarno, “ebbed and flowed a little bit” and sometimes “got intense.”
Read more from the NYTimes.com here


Buffalo, NY May 24-27

Scottsdale, AZ Nov 14-17

Full list of events HERE