Communication in Crisis and Hostage Negotiations
By Arthur SlatkinCharles C Thomas Publisher
What sets this book apart from the pack is a strong emphasis on specific strategies and tactics. The body of the text is essentially a negotiator's checklist. It is a "How-To" for a wide variety of approaches for the negotiator. Most of us get good at four or five strategies...because they have worked for us. The problem comes in when the negotiation drags on past our favorite approaches and we need new ones. This book has them. The Stalemate and Deadlock sections are especially good.
The book also contains the apparently compulsory "types of subjects" section - mentally disabled, personality disorder, terrorist, suicidal, etc., which may be helpful. On the other hand, throughout the book, the letter "S" is used to mean Subject, "PN" for Primary Negotiator, etc., not just in role-play sections but in all of the instructional text. Except for this very awkward format, the book is otherwise quite readable. The book redeems itself with an excellent section on role-play exercises. The book is a 3.5 out of 5. Crisis Negotiations
By McMains & Mullins Anderson Publishing
What sets this book apart is specific strategies and tactics tailored for two separate and distinct scenarios - Hostage Negotiations in Prisons and Correctional Facilities, and Workplace and School Violence Issues for Negotiators. These very unique situations are not typically covered in negotiation books, and each requires more than a cookie-cutter approach.
The sections on Demands and Effects of Time, and on Intelligence and Intelligence Gathering, are especially good. The sections on Team Structures, Roles and Command is well-developed, as is the section on Post-Incident Debriefing. This book is fairly intellectual, and requires a bit of dedication to read it. However, it has some extremely helpful information. It gets a 4 out of 5 unless you are with a jail operation...then it is mandatory. Enhancing Police Response to Persons in Mental Health Crisis
By Don Castellano-Hoyt Charles C Thomas Publisher
This is not the textbook for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) police training that is sweeping the country - but it should be. The book has excellent, readable and easy-to-understand sections on What It Means To Be Mental Ill, and the separate overall topics of Schizophrenia and separately on Depression. In fact, these three chapters make the book a must-have.
The book has valuable sections on the overall concept of Crisis Intervention, which is very different from hostage negotiation, the details of Suicide Intervention and the specifics of Emergency Detention. The book also has special sections on the very unique patrol aspects of autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hearing impairments. This book is a 5 out of 5. Hostage Situations
By Pearson & Radli LawTech Publishing
This is a fairly short, very readable book definitely geared toward patrol officers. In fact, the first chapter sets the pace...First Officer on the Scene. The book then moves on to Command Posts and the Incident Command Systems. The basics of Hostage Incident Response and Hostage Negotiations are covered, so patrol has an idea of what is involved.
What sets this negotiation book apart, in addition to its patrol emphasis, is the section on Media Relations. This is especially worthwhile for patrol supervisors, and public information officers. The Debriefings section is also worthwhile for all involved. Overall, this is a 3 out of 5 for negotiators and 5 out of 5 for patrol supervisors. Negotiate and Win
By Dominic Misino McGraw-Hill Companies
What makes this book so compelling is the street reputation of the author - a former NYPD ESU sniper turned hostage negotiator, veteran of the Lufthansa Flight 592, the 1993 crisis at Kennedy International. The NYPD has a very different approach to negotiations than the FBI. While all of us tend to blend these two major schools of thought together, the pure NYPD approach from the NYPD's top negotiator is a good read. The book covers, step-by-step, the basics and then the details of the negotiation method - active listening, the first concession, handling deadlines and demands.
The book also covers the specifics of something almost no one teaches - the critical steps of closing the negotiation. This is that iffy transition from the first intent to surrender up to the moment the handcuffs are double-locked. On the other hand, in every chapter, the book mixes hardcore police negotiation with how to negotiate in the marketplace. This irrelevant text is so interwoven that it is hard to ignore and very distracting. Overall? This is a 4 out of 5, but a must-have for NYPD method enthusiasts. On-Scene Guide for Crisis Negotiations
By Fredrick Lanceley CRC Press
This is one of the best books available on the FBI method of negotiation. While Misino's book is a good glimpse at how the NYPD does it, this book is a detailed immersion in how the FBI does it. The book is very readable, completely relevant, and exhaustively complete. Of course, it has a section on Active Listening, but it also includes important techniques on First Responder Dialogue.
The majority of the book is devoted to Hostage Negotiations and tactic after tactic on how to handle a wide variety of situations and eventualities...from telephone negotiations to face-to-face. However, the book also devotes a lot of high-quality time to Suicide Intervention. While CIT courses deal with attempted suicide, most negotiation books do not, even though this is a more common call than barricaded gunman - hostage negotiation. This book gets a solid 5 out of 5, a true must-read. Stalling for Time
By Gary Noesner Random House Publishing
This is another book on the FBI experience written by the founding chief of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit. What sets this book apart is the training style - it is case study after case study. The various aspects of negotiation used in each case are well covered. The case study format has a strong appeal to people who learn the best that way, but the narratives don't appeal to everyone's learning style.
The real significance of this book is the behind-the-scenes detail on some of the nation's highest-profile, most famous police negotiations: 1991 Talladega Correctional Institute (Cuban detainees), a huge section on 1993 Branch Davidian Waco, 1996 Montana Freemen, and a half dozen more. This comes off much more like a novel than a training book, but it does have important aspects of historical events with both insight and narrative. It earns a 3.5 out of 5. Training Strategies for Crisis and Hostage Negotiations
By Arthur Slatkin Charles C Thomas
For the trained negotiator, this book is the best of the lot. It is one thing to read How-To do the various techniques of negotiations. It is a whole other thing to actually do the negotiation. Reading a book on how to ride a bicycle is way different than grabbing the handlebars the first time. This book is for training officers tasked with setting up monthly or bi-monthly CNT training. It is jam-packed with a wide variety of specific, well-thought-out role-play scenarios.
Role-play scenarios must be structured and realistic. Otherwise they become out of control, if not bizarre, goofing around. On the other hand, scenario-driven, structured role-play unfolds or branches out in a controlled manner - with realistic reactions and expectations. Challenging scenarios are the ones that both can be resolved and serve as real, in-service training. This one is 5 out of 5.