Hostage Negotiations Team Training for Small Police Departments
The training of hostage negotiators can be the determining factor in the successful resolution of the hostage and barricade situations confronting most municipal police departments today. This chapter describes one successful method of accomplishing such training within a relatively small department and suggests how this training can be effectively implemented. Additionally, it may serve as the basis for a training manual on this highly specialized subject. Although the training program described is designed as a total program, it is anticipated that the content of specific programs will vary and be supplemented according to need. This program has been developed over a 3-year period and has been evaluated externally through command post simulations. The material contained in this chapter was developed and tested with and on police officer negotiators from several departments around the country, but with special emphasis on the members of the author's hostage negotiations team. Some of the information given to the team is based on specific team and departmental needs and some is more generic. All material should be applicable to almost any department and especially to those with relatively limited training budgets. A global attempt is made to cover all areas considered relevant to the task of negotiating, interacting with command staff, dealing with the public both before and after the situation, and preparing for dealing with the stressful situation of actually responding to and enduring a hostage or barricade incident. All
training is done as a team and the concept of team ness is considered most relevant. Team members come to rely on each other and to respect each other's opinions and relevant suggestions. Such interaction is vital to the overall process of negotiations as well as to the necessary working relationships between all members. Members often become the trainers of the other members and at other times become the trainees. All training, however, is conducted under the direct supervision of the designated team trainer.