Saturday, November 11, 2023

Crisis Hostage Negotiation Newsletter [November 2023]

1. Hostage freed after hours-long standoff at Las Vegas Strip resort room

A man was arrested and a woman described as his hostage was released unharmed Tuesday after an hours-long standoff in a room at the Caesars Palace resort on the Las Vegas Strip, police said.
No injuries were reported and police did not immediately say if the hostage-taker had been armed in a high-rise tower of the iconic Las Vegas Boulevard property. Furniture, cushions and other objects fell from a 21st floor window, frightening guests in a swimming pool area below.

Read more:

2. Push to Free Israeli Hostages in Gaza Hindered by Mistrust, Anger, Confusion

Hopes of a breakthrough have repeatedly faded, leaving the fate of more than 200 prisoners uncertain
[paywall] read more:

3. Israel and Hamas Nearly Struck a Deal to Free Up to 50 Hostages

...So far, the negotiations have only focused on releasing civilian hostages, according to these officials. The Israeli soldiers held in Gaza may eventually be part of a separate track of negotiations, possibly to be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian women and minors who are held without charge in Israeli prisons.
Read more:

4. Israel sees 'sign of life' in Gaza hostage videoNote: this is interesting and explains why hostage videos are not shown:

The BBC will not be broadcasting the clip itself, which is more than three minutes long. Prisoners of war and hostages are protected under international humanitarian law, and the BBC does not broadcast material which may have been filmed under duress.

5. 'We will kill you': I was held hostage in a war zone. Years later, the trauma remains.

After the Hamas attack last month, I knew that I could not bear to see the videos or images of civilian victims of the fighting in Israel and Gaza.I know firsthand what it is like to be taken hostage. 
... I am a nurse, and in July 2018, six of my colleagues and I were taken captive for four days by a rebel group in Cameroon. Our team was trying to offer primary care to civilians in the central African country, where a separatist war was erupting.
Read more:

Do you know about Hostage US?

Hostage US is a 501c3 organization that ensures American hostages, wrongful detainees and their families get the support and guidance they need to survive the challenge of a kidnapping. 
We provide support free of charge and on a fully confidential basis. We are independent of any private interests so we can serve the needs of hostages and their families. We are family first – family last.
Read more:

Did you know the NYAHN offers KfR (Kidnap for Ransom) Training?

6. Cops open fire on hostage-taking kidnappers after 4-hour standoff in victim’s semi-truck: video

A multi-county police chase turned into a 4-hour hostage standoff in the middle of an Ohio highway before cops opened fire on the two suspects, who later died Wednesday morning.

Harrowing footage showed several Ohio Highway Patrol Troopers in tactical gear approach the hijacked semi-truck in an attempt to free the driver, who was believed to have been held hostage inside by a 54-year-old man and his 51-year-old wife.

Read more:

7. Man arrested at Hamburg Airport (Germany) after nearly 18-hour hostage standoff

BERLIN (AP) — The hostage situation at Hamburg Airport ended Sunday afternoon, around 18 hours after a man drove his vehicle through the gates of the airport with his 4-year-old daughter inside, authorities said. The man was arrested and the girl appears to be unharmed.

Read more:

8. Nebraska police standoff ends with arrest and safe hostage release

Nebraska police on Wednesday arrested a 37-year-old man after a nearly 30-hour standoff and the release of three hostages, including two children...
The man backed out of plans to release the woman multiple times during negotiations with an FBI hostage rescue team and other law enforcement officials, Overman said. The man shot about seven rounds at law enforcement during the standoff.
Read more:

9. Manhunt for Ohio murder suspect ends with hostage situation and deadly standoff at gas station in West Virginia

A man suspected of a killing in Ohio and multiple carjackings in Kentucky was killed by West Virginia police in a standoff outside a gas station where he was holding three hostages...
Kenova Police Chief Bob Sullivan told CBS affiliate WOWK-TV that a hostage negotiator with the West Virginia State Police Special Response Team talked with Maynard for an hour and a half.


(Green = I'm speaking at it)
NTOA - Nov. 13-16

NECNA Regional Training (members only)
ADVANCED CRISIS NEGOTIATOR COURSE: Suicide, Depression & Anxiety - Understanding the Research to Save Lives
December 5 - CT
December 6 - MA

7th Annual NYPD & NYAHN Training Seminar

Crisis Negotiators - Oklahoma
April 10, 2024

38th Annual Training Seminar & HNT Competition
April 28, 2024 to May 1, 2024
Boise Convention Centre & The Grove Hotel
Boise, Idaho

16th Annual NYAHN Conference - Rochester NY

Sept. 23-27, 2024

Hostages, SWAT officer, suspect dead in Austin, TX, after maniac traps victims

 A deranged man barricaded in a house in Austin, Texas with two hostages opened fire on police officers and killed a member of a SWAT team.

The violence unfolded in South Austin around 4 a.m. when Austin Police SWAT officers forced entry into the home where the maniac was allegedly armed with a knife and gun and had trapped hostages, Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson announced at a press conference on Saturday morning.

Read more: 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Crisis Hostage Negotiation Newsletter [March, 2023]

 10 years of the (free) Crisis Negotiator Skills Sheet

It's been 10 years since I created the above skills sheet. Just a reminder, it's 100% free for you to use with your police negotiation teams. If you want the PDF, just email me. 

Amazon delivery driver goes viral for dropping off package during a police standoff in North Carolina

The video, posted on March 18, the Amazon worker is seen toting a small box up to the driveway where the apparent standoff is taking place, taking officers by surprise. As soon as they see him, they tell him to stop...

The True Story Behind ‘Waco: American Apocalypse’

Nearly 30 years later, we remain fascinated by the events at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas

S'pore police negotiator once spent 21 hours convincing man not to jump off 7-story high crane

“People cope with difficulties in life in different ways, so we don’t try to downplay what people are going through," Bala explained.

“The feeling of being able to save a life at the end of it is actually very rewarding. That’s why our negotiators keep doing this year after year.”
Read more HERE

Papua New Guinea hostage taking a ‘spur of the moment decision’

The decision to take the Australian-based New Zealand archaeologist Prof Bryce Barker and his research team hostage near remote Mount Bosavi in Papua New Guinea was a “spur of the moment” decision by their captors, two of whom had been shot in an earlier encounter with security guards at a logging site.

4 Keys to Responding to a Child Expressing Thoughts of Suicide

Tips that can help both in your work and personal lives
Here are some thoughts to ground you in those first critical moments when your child makes a declaration or when you become aware that they are struggling with suicidal ideation. These thoughts should help you respond in the most supportive way...

Niger Credited With Negotiating Release of US Aid Worker, French Journalist

Kidnappings in the Sahel are growing at an alarming rate. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger saw a combined 532 abductions in 2022, up from to 33 in 2017, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Some 115 abduction incidents have already been recorded in the region this year.
Read more HERE

Sharpen Those Skills

I'm not sure if you've heard of the "13 Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders" but if you'd like, have a look and reflect on how each, when practiced, can make you both a better negotiator and member of your team.

Click here



Trainings, workshops, conferences, and more (April - June)

Trainings I'm involved in:

Other trainings

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Crisis Hostage Negotiator Newsletter - January 2023

 Happy new year everyone. I hope the new year is off to a great start for each of you. Make sure to have a look at each story below, I think they are all worth it. One of the best ways to stay sharp is reading!

Last month we held our 3rd annual Resilience Symposium where for the latest version, we had space experts from NASA and other organizations share about their great work and resilience. A bunch of video snippets and full sessions have already been uploaded. Take just over one minute to watch this one - I think it will resonate with many of you. 

Police Resilience Training (Free!)
Due to some partnerships and grants, I have some opportunities to provide free (yes free!) resilience training for police personnel. These workshops have already been given to police personnel across the country (and world) with some really great feedback and published research on it.

At the moment, there are opportunities for agencies in the following locations only:
  • Long Island (NY)
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut 
  • Maine
  • Maryland
Last thing I will say is if you know me, this type of training is not "check box training" - it's designed by police for police. These training and workshops have also be given specifically to negotiator teams including those recently in the FBI - NJ and Toronto.

If your agency is interested (this is not for individuals to sign up), send me an email, or a message on LinkedIn. 

42nd Annual Hostage Negotiation Seminar
Once again one of the top negotiator events of the year is coming up. Make sure to mark your calendar. Have a look at the image, so really interesting presentations. 

Crisis Negotiator Skills: The Experts Weigh In

(From the article) 90% either always or usually debrief after an incident. This highlights the importance of reflecting afterwards on what worked and did not work in order to improve effectiveness for the next incident. Experts in crisis incidents do not “wing it.” Rather, they know what works, how it works, and analyze incidents afterwards in order to continue doing what is effective and know what is not effective so they can try to avoid it next time.

Read the article at Psychology Today here.

‘You’re pathetic.’ Texas police negotiator insults man on ledge, stirring anger online

Mississippi police kill woman holding hostage inside Walmart store and demanding to speak to a news anchor
A video posted to social media showed a woman holding a gun in one hand and using the other hand to hold onto a person wearing a Walmart employee vest. The woman with the gun yelled that she needed help and wanted to talk to a news anchor.

Ransomware Attacks: Tips And Tricks For Getting A Favorable Deal
3. Be Honest
Trust me when I say people can see through falsehoods, sooner or later. If you’re trying to buy time or mislead the attacker, it can cause them to cut off communications, and that’s the last thing you want. So, be honest and tell them that you need time to arrange the money. Or, you can even tell them that their demands are beyond your capacity. This sort of blunt honesty might bring you closer to finalizing a deal.

(Movie Review) 'The Point Men' recounts S. Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan
"The Point Men" sheds light on the 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan by focusing on the desperate rescue efforts, walking the fine line between what happened on stage and behind the scenes.
...In July 2007, 23 South Korean missionaries are taken hostage by the Taliban, and a South Korean negotiation team is dispatched to Afghanistan.

Northeastern professor’s new book trains crisis negotiators for life-or-death calls
“From these maps,” Kevoe-Feldman says, “we can identify specific patterns and communication practices that work well, and we can pinpoint points of miscommunication.”

Did you know? Hostage negotiators sharpen their skills in San Marcos
The training this week at Texas State University this year attracted almost 30 hostage negotiation teams from across the U.S. and from as far away as Singapore.
Read more from CBS Austin.

Kidnapping for ransom: the new normal
...The abductor directed her to bring the money to Adama without stating where. As soon as they have the money, her brother will be released, the abductor said.
The conversation went on. “I’ve never seen that much money. How am I going to get you this right now?” she asked. The kidnapper immediately lost interest in continuing the conversation. She insisted on engaging in bargaining, giving her a little bit more time to speak.
Read more from The Reporter here

The Art of Hostage Negotiations—When You’re the Hostage

Naked man held grocery store clerk hostage at gunpoint, court documents say