Response to Hostage Taking for Medium and Small Size Law Enforcement Agencies
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Statement of the Problem The degree of preparation a department can achieve for countering a potential hostage incident is varied. Whether to maintain no capability, SWAT team, a negotiator team, or both types of teams literally becomes a judgement call for the police chief as little empirical research is available to help in the decision-making process. More important, once the decision is made to activate a team, determining the selection criteria, training, equipment, and when to utilize the members will distinguish a real-world capability vs. one which exists only on paper. Sources of Data The data used in this study were obtained primarily from an in depth literature review of the existing body of knowledge on how police agencies currently handle hostage incidents. In addition, a review of ideas from other disciplines with potential application to negotiation are explored. Interviews with leaders of both SWAT and negotiator teamsin large and small departments along with the authors own experiences as a U. S. Air Force security police officer are also utilized to ensure a blend between academics and real world practices are maintained. Conclusions Reached Far too often departments still concentrate almost exclusively on what SWAT teams can do. Its difficult, but imperative for the focus to shift toward providing a unified response where every single advantage the policy possess can be concentrated on the situation at hand. By applying the strategic management model, not only can smaller departments evaluate the risk of hostage taking in their jurisdiction, but they also develop limited steps to resolve such incidents.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations