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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When It Goes Bad, It Goes Bad Quickly (Part 2)

Let’s imagine for a moment that your team does not deploy negotiators on high-risk warrant service as was advocated in Part 1 of this series and the warrant service is compromised at the breach. Having tactical operators versed in the basics of crisis negotiation can be an effective stop-gap measure until your negotiators can respond.

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When It Goes Bad, It Goes Bad Quickly (Part 1)

Sunrise is about an hour away. SWAT has silently contained the target location. Their stack is at the front door, ready to execute a “no-knock”, high risk warrant on a violent felon. Forced entry is made as the suspect is coming out of the bathroom toward the rear of the home. He is challenged as he retreats to a bedroom and slams the door shut. He responds to the officers’ yelling by firing...

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Negotiator Spotlight: Byron Sage

Our goal at The Black Swan Group is to help negotiators improve. One of the more effective ways of getting better is listening to advice and anecdotes from those who have “been there, done that”. From time to time we will highlight discussions with current and retired negotiators. Enjoy our spotlight on Byron Sage!

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What’s Your Position?

I was speaking with a relatively new negotiator the other day who said, “LT, I spoke to several people at the conference and none of them said they use a Negotiations Position Paper (NPP).” Most, he said, had not heard of it. I told him that while I was disappointed, I was not surprised because most teams have not had their value explained to them.

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Our Role In a Terrorist Event

“The enemy uses the best negotiator he has, who is normally very sly, and knowledgeable in human psychology. He is capable of planting fear in the abductors’ hearts, in addition to discouraging them”. These words are from Issue 10 of the Mu’ Askar Al Battar: A Terrorist Training Manual. As negotiators, they are expecting us. We should be preparing for them.

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