Hostage Negotiations - Research Paper Example

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Donna Purcell Order #555233 18 July 2011 Hostage Negotiations: What’s at Stake for Both Parties and Techniques Involved “The theme that permeates hostage negotiation is the Safe Release of Hostages and the Saving of Lives.” Hostage negotiations are all about psychology; and successful negotiators must be skilled in handling a diverse level of negotiations under very stressful circumstances…
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Download file to see previous pages The actual negotiation period may take hours or even days to bring the situation to a positive conclusion. Discussion of the hostage-takers, negotiators and techniques used are given in the following information. First of all there may be many circumstances involved in why a hostage situation takes place. Some examples include 1. A situation of a desperate mother or father who locks themselves in with their own child. 2. It could be a bank robber disturbed and having financial problems. 3. Or it may be a terrorist situation that has taken hostages in return for demands being met. In any hostage situation, however, there are differing circumstances. There may be more than one hostage, or there may be more than one hostage-taker, or the situation could be planned or just a last minute desperate attempt to have their demands met. In any of these situations it is the negotiator who must control the situation using his skills to bring the situation to a prompt conclusion and a positive outcome. The hostage-taker has little choice in the outcome once the situation escalates. He can either “kill hostages or release them, kill himself or be killed by a shoot out, negotiate a way out (which is seldom done), or give themselves up.” Most major incidents that law enforcement deal with involving hostages are less than 20 percent and most are resolved with no loss of life. It has been proven in critical situations that negotiation strategies produce a 95 percent success rate in concluding a hostage situation without fatalities of neither hostages nor hostage-takers. The hostage-taker’s role in the situation is to have his demands met by using people as a bargaining chip. So when the police arrive the first thing they do is to find out as much as possible about the hostage-taker and why he has taken a hostage or hostages. The hostage-taker may be emotionally or mentally disturbed. The specific reason for the hostage taking may be illogical to the negotiator but it may make perfect sense to the hostage-taker. In cases such as these the hostage is usually related to the hostage-taker and normally its some type of domestic dispute. In most cases, this is the type of situation that police officers face in hostage situations. In other situations innocent bystanders are used as “human shields” to protect the hostage-taker from the police. This type of situation is normally unplanned and just a panic reaction of a caught criminal situation. The most extreme hostage situations are terrorist situations, which are always planned. From the very beginning it is the plan of the hostage-takers to use the lives of the hostages to achieve their specific goals. The participants in these types of situations are usually radical political groups, terrorists, or other extreme activists. Another form of hostage crisis is kidnapping, but in this type of situation the hostage taker uses other means to communicate their demands. Therefore, a negotiator is not necessarily needed. Lt.. Schmidt of the Cheektowaga Police Department in Cheektowaga, NY says, regardless of the situation, basic technique is the same. “You work to build a rapport and encourage them to bring about a peaceful conclusion. The same techniques are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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