Derek Gaunt

Derek Gaunt
Derek Gaunt is a seasoned negotiator and leader. With 23 years of experience, Derek has commanded and trained police department hostage negotiation teams. Derek handles for law enforcement, military and security training.
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Recent Posts

Negotiating When They Are Not Talking

Sam Felder (not his real name) had barricaded himself in his home.  Suffering from hellacious migraines and post-traumatic stress, he told his wife he could not take it anymore.  Sam loaded his handgun and told her to leave.  She complied, ran to a neighbor’s house, and called the police.  Police attempted to negotiate with Sam for close to 10 hours.  It was the end of June and sweltering out....

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Negotiation Is An Essential Component - Part II

Last month I wrote about how law enforcement should dispatch negotiations teams to active violence/shooter events noting that many believe there is no role for us to play.  I have been latently criticized for such thinking.   In the article, I posed the question, what are we to do when the event transitions from dynamic to static? On June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, we learned.   

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Negotiation Is An Essential Component

I had a conversation with a veteran SWAT operator not too long ago about how we would respond to Beslan-styled attack at a local community college.  He posed a question “would I favor negotiations in such an attack?”

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Establish Your Kill Line

A woman calls 911, hysterical.  She tells the call taker that her boyfriend, a military vet, is despondent and threatening to commit suicide by way of a handgun in his home.  

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He Issued A Demand or Deadline, Now What?

“We want four million dollars, forty 1,000-year-old ginseng roots, a 50-troop military helicopter, to take us to Thailand…and four bullet-proof vests.” These demands (and they are actual demands made during an incident) could stymie most hostage-barricade managers. To the lesser-trained they seem non-negotiable. Demands and deadlines tend to crank up the stress level for decision-makers....

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Look What You Made Me Do

Jerry was a fifty-seven year-old male who doused himself with gasoline and was in possession of a handgun, threatening to commit suicide.  This was his response to an eviction notice.  It was clear he had issues.

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Just Talk To Him

MOREPIES.  It’s the acronym developed by the Crisis Negotiations Unit of the FBI in order to help negotiators remember the eight skills in the Active Listening Skill (ALS) set.  

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It's All Fun And Games, Until Someone Gets Hurt

In the late 1980’s, several deaths of mentally ill persons attributed to the Memphis Police Department (MPD) resulted in a change in tactics for how law enforcement handled these types of cases.  MPD corrected the problem by partnering with the mental health community. The partnership led to the establishment of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) within MPD.

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Hostage Or Non-Hostage? That is The Question

“Ma’am, here’s what we know so far.  Suspect, John Doe of Any Address, is holding his estranged wife, Jane Doe against her will.  Apparently, Doe is an alcoholic who is prone to violence against Jane when he is drunk.  This is what led her to get the Protective Order against him.  The PO prohibits him from coming within 500 feet of her and their son, Sam.  He showed up today at her home to ‘talk...

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Getting You From Rapport To Influence

We have written about the importance of active listening to demonstrate empathy in order to establish a bond or rapport with the other side of a difficult conversation. But, not much has been said about techniques that can help us move from rapport to influencing behavioral change. Whether business or crisis negotiations (to some there is no distinction), behavioral change is our ultimate goal.

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