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Crisis Negotiation Scenarios

CrisisNegotiation Scenarios

CrisisNegotiation Scenarios


Hostageof non-hostage incident

Thereare three factors that qualify Bradley scenario as a hostageincident. First, Bradley, who is the hostage-taker, wants to obtainsomething. Bradley wants to resolve the issue of maritalunfaithfulness with his wife Susan as a condition for him to let thehostages free. Secondly, Bradley’s (hostage taker) target is notthe hostages (students), but the third party (his wife Susan) who hasthe capacity to provide his demands (resolve the issue ofunfaithfulness in their marriage). Third, the hostages (the students)are bargaining chip and their interest is to be rescued uninjured.

Stageof the crisis

Inthe first scenario, Bradley is in the initial phase of the crisis.This phase involves the use of violence by the hostage-taker whosemain objective is to take control of the hostages by subduing andassaulting them (Grabianowski, 2014). This phase ends by the hostagetaker making the demand. Similarly, Bradley has used violence to takecontrol of the hostage (students and professor) and has screamed hisdemand, which is to work out the issue of marital cheating with hiswife Susan.

Negotiabilityof the incident

Thereare three factors that make the current incident negotiable andpotentially resolved without the use of force. First, the hostagetaker (Bradley) has not injured any of the hostages, which means thatthere is a room for negotiation to take place and have everyone(including Bradley) leaves the scene safe. Secondly, there is areliable means of communication between the negotiator, hostages, andthe hostage-taker. Third, the hostage-taker has presented hisdemand, which gives the negotiator a starting point. This means thatthe incident is negotiable.



Inthe second scenario, Bradley has made two demands. The first demandis to be given some food and whiskey, which will be exchanged by thefreedom of five students. This seems to be an instrument for him totest the gravity of the trouble he is in and whether he can trust thenegotiator. The second demand is to be promised that he will not bejailed following the crisis he has caused. The demand for Bradley notto be jailed is more important because he is concerned about whatwill happen to him after the incident. Other demands are the means ofgetting the promise for his safety after the incidence.

Stageof the crisis

Inthe second scenario, Bradley is in the negotiation phase. During thisphase, the law enforcers should be on the scene and the hostage-takerdemands received (Grabianowski, 2014). Although nothing changesphysically during this phase, a relationship develops between all thepeople involved, which give a promise of a peaceful ending.Similarly, the Bradley has agreed to take the call and discuss withthe negotiator and present his demands. The good relationship betweenBradley and the negotiators shows that he has calmed down and noinjuries might occur if the negotiation proceeds successfully.

HandlingBradley’s demands

Aneffective negotiator should never say no to the demands made by thenegotiator or argue with them, but instead applies delaying tacticsor present counter offers (Grabianowski, 2014). Assuring Bradley thathe will not go jail as he demands is an outright lie and thenegotiator should focus on showing him the importance of all peopleinvolved in the scene (including himself and the hostages) leave theplace safely. However, the negotiator should not give a no answer toBradley, but should remain positive and reassure him that all thingswill eventually be resolved peacefully. This will reduce the chanceof the occurrence of violent confrontations and give him a room tocalm down.

Reasonsto give Bradley alcohol for the release of five students

Itwill be wise for the negotiator to give Bradley a bottle of whiskeyin exchange for the release of five students. A standard operatingprocedure states that it is better to have at least one hostage getout safely, rather than subjecting all of them to the risk of deathor injuries if the hostage taker changes his mind (Miller, 2007). Itis possible that the hostage taker might feel that the negotiator ispressuring him and decide to engage in violent confrontation. Thismeans that giving Bradley the alcohol will be more appropriate thanrisking all the hostages.

Factorsto consider when deciding whether to give Bradley alcohol or not

Thereare two important factors to be considered. First, the safety of thehostages should be given a priority. This implies that if givingBradley alcohol will reduce the probability of him changing his mindand turning violent, then it is the best thing to do. Secondly, thenegotiator should consider the impact of giving alcohol on therelationship between him, hostage taker, and hostages. Giving Bradleyalcohol will show that the negotiator considers him to be a humanbeing and give him an assurance that his affairs are being lookedinto. This will increases the probability for him to release the restof the hostages.


Decisionto make a tactical assault

Makinga tactical assault is not appropriate given the fact that the hostagetaker has already calmed down and has not expressed any signs ofengaging in violent confrontations. Under the standard operatingprocedure, the longer the time that passes without the occurrence ofinjuries, the more it is likely that the outcome will be nonlethal(Miller, 2007). The tactical team should allow the negotiation toproceed.

Assistingthe tactical team with the pending assault

Thenegotiator should assist the tactical team by distracting thehostage-taker during the assault. Although informing the negotiatorabout the pending assault is a breach of the standard procedure, thenegotiator still has a role to play in reducing potential harm tohostages in case an assault has to be done. Distraction can beachieved by keeping the hostage taker pre-occupied with thenegotiations and reassuring them that both the negotiator and thetactical team are committed to the safety of the hostages and thehostage takers. This can help the tactical team in arresting orincapacitating the hostage taker without injuring the hostages.


Grabianowski,E. (2014). How hostage negotiation works? HowStuffWorksIncorporation.Retrieved April 29, 2014, fromhttp://people.howstuffworks.com/hostage-negotiation7.htm

Miller,L. (2007, May 22). Hostage negotiations: Psychological strategies forresolving crises. PoliceOne.com.Retrieved April 29, 2014, fromhttp://www.policeone.com/standoff/articles/1247470-Hostage-negotiations-Psychological-strategies-for-resolving-crises/