Hostage Negotiation Phase I & II

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Length of Seminar: 5 Days
Instructor: Mark Lowther and/or Jack Cambria


This session will examine the roots of Hostage / Crisis Negotiations. The students will learn the ‘why’ of negotiating and the numerous ways that a Crisis Negotiation Team should be utilized. Downs V. the United States will also be discussed

Tactical Use of Negotiators: The role of the negotiator is misunderstood in many tactical circles. The student will learn the value of negotiators in deploying the tactical option. How can negotiators aid tactical teams?

Team Structure: The structuring of a crisis negotiation team and the importance of command personnel, as well as command personnel’s understanding and support will be discussed. (This structure works for small and large agencies alike)

Basics of Negotiating: The function and duties of each team member, including command personnel, will be explained and discussed. Negotiation strategies will also be discussed. Negotiation Operation Command (NOC) and Tactical Operation Command (TOC) - what are they and how do they function with each other during a SWAT incident.

Social Media: Social media is huge. In today’s world the negotiator has to be aware of how social media works and how it can help and hurt negotiations

Communication Skills: The student will be given an in-depth overview of communication skills. Both conversational speaking and listening will be discussed.

Psychology of Negotiations: In this segment, students will discuss in layman’s terms the mental and personality disorders that are prevalent during crisis situations. Identifying the mental or personality disorder and dealing with it in a crisis situation. Students will learn the three most common types of suspects that are involved in hostage/barricade incidents.

Terrorism and the Negotiator: In today’s world the chances are higher than ever of the possibility of a terrorist involved hostage incident. Can we negotiate with a terrorist? We will discuss the different methods of negotiating with a terrorist. An understanding of the ideology and culture of terrorists. Can we negotiate with TERRORISTS?

Case Studies: Each and every hostage and crisis situation is different. The cases we will review are a diverse sampling of the instructor’s experiences and other incidents from across the nation.

Suicide Intervention: Can you talk a person into committing suicide? The truth and the myths about suicide will be discussed.

The Resolution: Sometimes our success is bittersweet- we will discuss the good and bad side of a resolution.

The Aftermath: Negotiator Stress- second guessing and Monday morning quarterbacking will be discussed.

Role Play: Instructors will guide the students through the tense and very stressful job of negotiating with various types of hostage takers and emotionally disturbed people. Students will get a chance to participate as a team member and use the most advanced electronic equipment that is on the market today.

Upon completion attendees will have gained knowledge in the following areas:

  1. Crisis Team Structure
  2. Dynamics of Negotiations
  3. Value of using trained police negotiators as opposed to clergy, politicians, mental health professionals or family members
  4. Psychology in Hostage Negotiations
  5. The Team Concept – Tactical and Negotiation
  6. Communicating with People in Crisis (bosses and politicians included)
  7. Negotiating with Terrorists
  8. Negotiator Stress
  9. Practical Hands-on Role Play



International Association of Hostage Negotiators is a division of Public Agency Training Council
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