Crisis Negotiations




Ratliff, Trisha

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The discipline of crisis negotiation has been hailed as one of the most effective and successful tools used by law enforcement today. Despite its documented success, some law enforcement agencies remain ill prepared to adequately respond to a hostage/crisis situation. In most cases, this lack of preparedness can best be attributed to an agency’s failure to implement a crisis negotiation component to respond in conjunction with a tactical intervention during a hostage/crisis situation. Complex factors such as the rising number of individuals effected by mental illness and the ease with which law enforcement agencies may obtain tactical equipment through government surplus programs have intensified the need for the development of crisis negotiation teams in agencies of all sizes. Although some agencies may be unable to budget for independent negotiation teams, or may not be staffed adequately enough to create a negotiations team, it is imperative that all agencies pre-plan in order to respond to such an incident. Low cost training and equipment grant options are available for agencies struggling with budgetary constraints, and task force or direct assistance options are available for agencies struggling with staffing shortages. Regardless of the issue, law enforcement agencies capable of employing any type of tactical response in a crisis situation should implement a crisis negotiation component in order to decrease liability and ensure the safest possible outcome for all parties involved.


Crisis Management, Hostage Negotiations