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Crisis Negotiation FBI Holds Week-Long Training

A role player pretends to be suicidal while students negotiate him off a building.

Around the nation, including in El Paso, the FBI has crisis negotiators who deploy with our SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) teams as their crisis negotiation element. We also work with local law enforcement negotiators on hostage, barricade, suicide, and kidnapping matters.

The El Paso FBI, along with instructors from the El Paso Police Department and Sheriff’s Office, recently hosted a week-long training for about 35 new negotiators. The students came from the Dona Ana ( New Mexico) Sheriff’s Department, the Ft. Bliss Criminal Investigation Division, the New Mexico State Police, and area police and sheriff’s departments. The training focused on active listening skills, abnormal psychology, and fundamentals of crisis negotiations.

Negotiators-in-training hurriedly document what a hostage taker is telling them.

Our own agents, meanwhile, have to pass a rigorous two-week National Crisis Negotiation Course, held a few times a year at the FBI Academy in Virginia, to become negotiators. The course puts students in real-life scenarios and tests their mettle, because there are no second chances when called to help.

The FBI's Crisis Negotiation Unit works to disrupt, prevent, and defeat terrorist and criminal related hostage takings against U.S. interests, both domestically and internationally, by maintaining a national level tactical negotiation capability


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