Negotiation is the process of resolving conflict through discussion, and a hostage incident is one in which an individual uses force or the threat of force to take people captive against their will and hold them in order to bargain for the fulfillment of certain demands. Law enforcement engages in hostage negotiation in an attempt to influence and control the hostage taker’s behavior. The value of such negotiations in saving lives has been demonstrated repeatedly. In fact, the data show that in high-risk crisis situations (whether hostages are present or not), negotiators are successful more than 90% of the time, and if negotiators are used, there are no injuries or fatalities in almost all of these incidents.

The first law enforcement hostage negotiation team in the ...

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