The Negotiator Magazine

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KR: Based on the information we got from interviewing them, it was a pretty stable thing. Wassenaar didnít relate, didnít respect anybody, and pretty much only thought of himself, but he did respect his sister. She was the foundation of his world, a mother figure. There were a lot of questions about handling this situation. Whether to introduce her, put her on the phone, tell him she was here. It wasnít decided only by the negotiators. It was a command issue and it was decided that it was a good idea to bring her into the picture.

On the sixth day of the incident, Wassenaar lost his temper in frustration with the pace of the negotiations and the inmates threatened to cut off one of the fingers of the female hostage. Amidst screams from the hostage, the negotiator gradually calmed the situation and the guard was not cut.

JB: Was there tremendous pressure to attack the tower at that point?

KR: That was a very tenuous situation. Yes, the tactical team can sometimes be a little more aggressive than the negotiators.

KR: I think what really helped out in this situation is that our tactical people had training so they get a more global viewpoint of it. The second thing that helped was that it was such a difficult tower to breach, there were so many things they had to take into account because we knew the inmates were reinforcing the entry way, booby trapping, covering the glass. The tactical team had to take all that into consideration with detailed planning, reconstructing angles, and directions. Itís a very technical field.

We didnít have the ability to see well because they covered all the windows so many tactics had to be taken into account. Under normal situations such as a regular building, it would have been different. This structure was built like a fortress.

JB: Were you there for the 15 days?

KR: I did have one day off. They made me take it off. Took me a while to get back into a pattern. Whole system was affected by it. One night I woke up and I heard something and my daughter was in the hallway and I said, ďAre they out?Ē and she says, ďGo back to sleep.Ē It takes a toll.

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