Crisis and Hostage Negotiation

Since the 1970s, some clinical psychologists (often referred to as operational psychologists) have become more actively involved in the resolution of critical incident situations, which are classified as either hostage situations or crisis intervention situations. Police psychologists are valuable contributors to the training of tactical and crisis/hostage negotiators. Onscene responsibilities for operational psychologists include providing professional consultation on the potential behavioral effects of psychopathology and psychopharmacology, selection of primary and backup negotiators, suggestions and input regarding the actual negotiation process, and operational consultation to the tactical commander. Research shows that police departments that employ psychologists during special operation responses have significantly fewer casualties of both hostages and hostage takers and more incidents that are peacefully resolved via a negotiated surrender than by a tactical entry ...

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