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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Something the macho men of small-town law enforcement still can't seem to comprehend

After reading the account of the most recent tragic gunman-hostage standoff in Colorado, I was especially dumbstruck by this quote from Sheriff Fred Wegener: "We had to do what we had to do....I don't know why he wanted to do this."

How is it these guys have never heard of keeping them talking in order to humanize the hostages, reduce the stress level and decrease violent outcomes? These guys never watch TV or film?

They successfully got four of the six released -- that was an extremely positive sign that the situation could be resolved without harm to the others. What the hell happened? They got tired? Outrageous. They must take their cues from our cowboy prez and v-effing-p.

So I did a search on best practices of hostage and crisis negotiations -- here's one result:
This course provides an overview of hostage negotiations and crisis intervention from the perspectives of law enforcement and intervention organizations.

Since the early 1970s, law enforcement agencies from across America have recognized the need to reexamine their actions in hostage and crisis situations.

Law enforcement along with other intervention organizations have long recognized that in

many family or individual crisis situations the use of certain intervention skills combined
with good negotiation techniques often lead to safer outcomes
.

-- from a course description for "Hostage Negotiation and Crisis Intervention" by Eric Jackson at the University of North Texas in Fort Worth.
Apparently these macho guys don't take classes either.

Still not convinced? Here's a tidbit from The Elements of Police Hostage and Crisis Negotiations by James Lynn Greenstone, EdD, JD who is also Crisis Negotiation Co-Chair and Editor of the Police Journal of Crisis Negotiations:
  • General procedure will be to contain and isolate the subject, evaluate the situation, and negotiate as long as practical to assure a safe outcome for all concerned.
The text lists some training requirements too (partial list):
The hostage negotiations team will receive a minimum of 100 hours training per year to include the following:
  • Forty hours formal classroom training(statutory requirement)
  • Sixty hours teamtraining to include both total in service and combined tactical
  • One hundred hours training each quarter

Doesn't sound like they followed procedure nor took classes/training in order to learn how to follow procedure and save lives -- not be stormtroopers.

Sincerest sympathies and deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Emily Keyes, a junior at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Coloardo.

Hostage Training, hostage negotiations, colorado shooting, high school shooting, hostage crisis, law enforcement


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