It’s a matter of life and death. That’s the reality in most hostage crisis situations.
About 30 members of local law enforcement hit the classroom to learn how to become negotiators.
Instructors say the key is to slow down and listen.
Thursday, they learned just that during a training exercise. The officers split up into teams and acted out different scenarios — including hostage takers, barricaded subjects, and potential suicide victims.
The officers learn how to respond in these situations by learning to what those in a crisis are saying, and trying to understand what they’re not saying.
“When dealing with someone’s whose in a crisis, there are a lot more issues that are involved than the issue at hand at that moment. And it’s up to the officer on that scene and that team of officers that are working together to peel back all the layers get down to the root of the problem,” says Lt. Hiram Rivera with Savannah Police Department.
“Anywhere from homeless people to very very wealthy people. They find themselves in a bad situation, and sometimes they become suicidal and so what do you do?” says Dennis Flynn, Instructor for Crisis System Management.
The officers endured about 40 hours of training. Some Garden City and Tybee Island Police officers also participated.