The Negotiator Magazine

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JB: Who coordinated all this?

KR: At first, nobody. Everybody wanted to be in charge. That was a little difficult. partly because the DOC does things totally differently than we do and the incident was happening at their facility. Naturally they were worried about liabilities and repercussions and how the other inmates are going to react. There was so much to take into account. There were different philosophies on taking care of business and different law enforcement agencies on the same page. So, that took a while to work out.

JB: Worked fairly well, though.

KR: As a whole? Sure it did.

JB: As time went on, you had political people involved, you had your tactical crew, which probably was pressing for an entry, I imagine, or getting ready for one?

KR: I sort of know the mindset of the tactical guys. Theyíre there to take care of business, yet all of our tactical guys have gone through the negotiation training too. They were in my class, so they kind of know where Iím coming from. And I know they want to kind of take care of business the tactical way. Yet, they give me the opportunity to negotiate.

JB: What does it take to be a hostage negotiator?

KR: I donít know. You have to know people pretty well, you have to relate to them and I donít know if itís a gift or a curse, but thatís just a gift in my situation. People have always opened up to me. I mean, people, strangers off the street have always come up to me. Maybe Iím approachable, I donít know. Theyíre open. I really care about whatís going on in the situation. You have to have a level head. You canít fly off the cuff. You canít take things personally. You need a calm demeanor and to be approachable.

JB: Before you got involved in this incident had you negotiated some others?

KR: Yes, barricaded, suicidal people, and all successful, knock on wood.

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