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Crisis Intervention - Hostage and Crisis Negotiation

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Public Safety Today

Public Safety Today


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Hostage negotiation is included in this Crisis Intervention series because there is a remarkable amount of crisis negotiation which goes on. Only 12% of all hostage incidents involve a perpetrator who is barricaded and has hostages. Most involve barricade situations, they occur in the home of the perpetrator, they are unplanned, and they involve males who are involved in domestic disputes. 

Additionally, if you teach school, are a counselor, a mental health worker, or even a medical staff member you have a greater chance of being a hostage than others. Roughly 52% of all hostage takings are performed by the emotionally disturbed who are often in these settings. Also, workplace violence is increasing and it is growing more likely crisis interventionists will be involved in helping reconcile these operations.

If you really look at crisis intervention you find it is at the heart of hostage negotiation. Your trainer, Mike Pozesny, was trained by his state in Hostage Negotiation and admits crisis intervention was not a part of his training. Still, hostage negotiation is also called “crisis bargaining,” because there is a "give and take" where one person is attempting to convince another person to comply with their direction. In Crisis Negotiation all the elements of a crisis exist: disequilibrium, stress, poor cognition, heightened emotionality, and the trauma that occurs after event resolution. 

This is a public affairs presentation of the American Public Safety Training Institute located at: www.tapsti.org