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NCJ Number: 62857 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE RESPONSE TO HOSTAGE SITUATIONS (FROM CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA - CRITICAL ISSUES FOR THE FUTURE, 1979, BY JOHN T O'BRIEN AND MARVIN MARCUS - SEE NCJ-62849)
Author(s): H SCHLOSSBERG
Corporate Author: Pergamon Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press, Inc
Elmsford, NY 10523
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MOTIVES OF HOSTAGE-TAKERS AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DYNAMICS UNDERLYING THE 'CONTAIN-AND-NEGOTIATE' POLICE RESPONSE TO HOSTAGE SITUATIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE SHORTCOMINGS OF TRADITIONAL POLICE APPROACHES TO HOSTAGE SITUATIONS--ASSAULT SQUADS, SNIPERS, CHEMICAL AGENTS--ARE NOTED, AND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE CONTAIN-AND-NEGOTIATE APPROACH ARE DISCUSSED. THIS APPROACH IS NONVIOLENT AND REVERSIBLE. ON THE PREMISE THAT PROPERTY CAN BE REPLACED AND CRIMINALS CAN BE CAUGHT BUT A LOST LIFE CANNOT BE GIVEN BACK, THE CONTAIN-AND-NEGOTIATE STRATEGY FOCUSES ON SAVING HUMAN LIVES. THE POLICE NEGOTIATOR ACTS AS A THERAPIST. THE NEGOTIATION UNIT ACCEPTS THAT ITS PRESENCE ALONE IS ENOUGH TO INFLUENCE THE SITUATION; I.E., THE HOSTAGE-TAKER, NOT THE POLICE, BEARS THE BURDEN OF TAKING THE INITIATIVE. TWO BASIC IDEAS UNDERLIE THE CONTAIN-AND-NEGOTIATE APPROACH: (1) THE HOSTAGE IS VALUABLE TO THE HOSTAGE-TAKER ONLY AS A DEVICE OR TOOL, NOT AS A PERSON; AND (2) NOT LETTING THE SITUATION BECOME VIOLENT IS AS MUCH IN THE HOSTAGE-TAKER'S INTEREST AS IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE POLICE. THREE GENERAL CATEGORIES OF HOSTAGE TAKERS--THE PROFESSIONAL (WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS TO GET MONEY), THE 'PSYCHO' (WHO ENJOYS THE SITUATION), AND THE GROUP (EITHER THE DISORGANIZED MOB, AS IN PRISON TAKEOVERS, OR THE TIGHTLY ORGANIZED GROUP, AS IN TERRORIST ATTACKS)--ARE DISCUSSED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE MOTIVES OF HOSTAGE-TAKERS AND THE TACTICS OF POLICE NEGOTIATION UNITS. IT IS PREDICTED THAT THE BIGGEST FUTURE CHALLENGE WILL BE TO KEEP OFFICERS WHO DEAL IN HOSTAGE NEGOTIATION FROM BECOMING TOO TECHNICAL AND SPECIALIZED. IT IS FURTHER PREDICTED THAT GREATER ATTENTION WILL BE DEVOTED TO THE ROLE OF THE VICTIM IN HOSTAGE SITUATIONS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Crisis intervention; Crisis management; Hostages; Negotiation; Police hostage-negotiation units
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62857

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