The Negotiator Magazine

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Reader's Review

Russ Moore

Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation
By Thomas Strentz, Ph.D.
304 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2006
Hardcover Edition (US) $59.95

This month’s book review is contributed by Sergeant Russ Moore of the San Diego Sheriff Department. It is particularly appropriate because Sergeant Moore is an active crisis negotiator and Dr. Thomas Strentz is a psychologist and retired member of the FBI Academy Crisis Negotiation Unit that designed and led much of the law enforcement crisis training over these past several decades. --John Baker

Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation is a long overdue reference book for crisis negotiators. Dr. Thomas Strentz gives the negotiator the tools he/she needs to make a critical mental health assessment and to negotiate from a position of power.

The average police officer does not possess the skills or training to make immediate clinical mental health assessments of all the subjects they encounter on a daily basis. Often the generic tag, “Wacko” or “5150” is applied to every emotionally disturbed person (EDP) who is the subject of the repeated police service calls. The mentally disturbed are taken through the revolving door of either jail or the local mental health lockup. An EDP who is the subject of a critical incident that necessitates crisis negotiations intervention is a very dangerous individual. Being able to make an evaluation of the possible mental illness the person suffers is the first step to being able to safely resolve the situation.

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April 2006