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

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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Are We Losing Ground?

Are we regressing to the 1980’s when it comes to hostage-barricade management? I fear we are. What I will share with you this month is anecdotal. My gut is telling me that negotiators are at risk of being marginalized to an extent not seen in 20 years because of a failure to realize their value to the hostage- barricade management process. It is based on casual observations as well as...

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Sun Tzu Would Agree With Hillary

Last week, during a speech at Georgetown University, Secretary Hillary Clinton advocated, “…showing respect, even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view…” As expected a significant number of pundits, professional and otherwise, pounced on her. The statement was dubbed, inane, naïve, and even a sign she...

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Derek’s Favorites (The Edge Year 1)

September 2013

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Five Negotiation Tips For Crisis Negotiators

1. Stick to your training

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Slow Your Role

“Stay away from Mom”. “Where is gun?” “Afraid?” “Not gonna do it.” “What is stopping…?” “Wife here.” These are samples of actual “sticky notes” passed from Coach to Primary during a negotiation. The Coach was constantly writing on the Post-it pad and slamming a note down in front of the Primary. The Primary, sitting behind the ever increasing pile of “sticky notes” was showing the signs of note...

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Negotiating Within The Negotiation

Hostage and crisis negotiators are some of the best influencers in the world. Our success depends on our ability to move people. To get them to do or not do something they were initially unwilling to. Influencing is our job. Hostage/barricade incidents provide many occasions where a member of the negotiations team needs to influence not only what is occurring within the crisis site but what is...

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Time’s Up

Sheriff’s Deputies were attempting to serve an eviction notice on an individual who responded by firing four rifle rounds from a window. While he swore he was not aiming at them, that fact was lost on the deputies as they high-tailed it to safer ground. The suspect called the police and said his life was terrible and that he wanted to speak with someone. A negotiator called his cell phone and he...

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It Depends…

As I read and hear about the accounts and comments regarding the release of Bowe Bergdahl, I am struck by the hand-wringing over the question of whether or not we should negotiate against terrorists. There are those who stand strongly on the side of NEVER and a growing number believing we should. The NEVER crowd suffers from antiquated thinking and fails to understand hostage negotiations and...

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Acting In Good Faith on Bad Information Can Occasionally Reap Benefits

It was 1994. I had just been selected to the rank of detective. In my mind, to coin a Richard Pryor line, I had finally reached the top. I was now a suit; a gold shield. It was, at the time, all I wanted to do in law enforcement. Excited is an understatement. I bought new suits. I showed up 90 minutes earlier than my report time on the first day. I was ready to go.

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