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NCJ Number: 161288 Find in a Library
Title: Enhancing Negotiator Training: Therapeutic Communication
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:65  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1996)  Pages:1-6
Author(s): A Slatkin
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 6
Document: HTML
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The volatile nature of critical incidents and the potential for harm to both hostages and police officers require police negotiators to explore ways of improving their communication skills, and principles of therapeutic communication used in the mental health field may be useful in the law enforcement setting.
Abstract: Although many police officers have developed some communication skills, their proficiency levels vary widely. Some have received limited formal training in interpersonal communication techniques as part of their basic academy instruction, while a few have obtained advanced communication training. Most police officers, however, possess little or no formal training in interpersonal communication. Therapeutic communication techniques used in the mental health field can be applied in the law enforcement setting. The strong interpersonal communication skills fostered by this approach provide an effective supplement to traditional negotiation training. Therapeutic communication differs from casual conversation because it is calculated and deliberate and emphasizes listening, acting, and sharing. The approach is relevant to law enforcement because, during a hostage or barricade situation, police negotiators assume a quasitherapeutic role in relation to the subject. In Kentucky, the Louisville Police Department has developed a training program to demonstrate the utility of communication training in improving police negotiation skills, to reinforce positive communication skills, to instruct police officers in therapeutic communication skills applicable to hostage and crisis negotiations, and to provide police officers with a structured opportunity to practice their skills. Kentucky's training program focuses on role playing and debriefing. 7 endnotes, 2 tables, and 1 photograph
Main Term(s): Police hostage negotiations training
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Criminology; Crisis management; Hostage negotiations; Kentucky; Police hostage-negotiation units
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