Hostage Negotiation

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Hostage negotiators have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, cutting a deal with someone whom one doesn't know and with the strongest possibility with that s/he is going to do whatever they say. Negotiators deal with criminals who 95% of the time who know what they are doing. Dealing with such people one would have go through extensive training. Negotiators are quick-witted people who know when to say what and what to do when a situation arises.

Sometime back we had a Hostage situation. Three men armed with automatic rifles and explosives held the staff of my bank and 15 clients as hostage's in the main banking hall. As the assigned negotiator I was in contact with the hostage captors via my mobile phone, but unfortunately I was unable to see them or the hostages. The captors demanded 2 million dollars in cash (An amount which was available in the bank vault), safe passage and no police interference. They threatened to kill the hostages if their demands were not met.

To deal with the whole situation I used the techniques that were taught to me, these techniques were both useful and if applied at the right time can achieve results that would be life saving, which would bring the death toll down to a bear minimum. Nevertheless it is the dream of every negotiator to get all the hostages alive and well. The techniques that I used were not certainly the best but they were the ones that I was taught to put in to use. I learned these techniques from various places. One of them happened to be the Police Academy where I had served them for almost a year as a negotiator.

The techniques were simple and easy to follow. One of the major techniques was to remain calm at all times even if the worst was expected to arise. Any hasty decision could prove to be disastrous Rogan & Hammer (1995) discuss the four stage model used by the Michigan State Police as:

1. Introduction and establishing contact,
2. relationship building,
3. problem negotiation,...
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