The Negotiator Magazine

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WRITTEN LITERATURE: Reading books, magazines, and articles is an excellent way to keep up on the latest techniques and trends in your business (in this case- crisis negotiations).  Associations publish newsletters that highlight incidents, books, and articles by experts in the field.  You can always learn from the experiences of those courageous enough to share them.

TRAINING:   A true professional never stops learning.  The day you think you know it all, there’s a person in crisis ready to show you you don’t.  Attend all the training you can.   At times, this may necessitates you spending your own money and go on your own time.   This is the cost of doing business.   A true professional sees the benefit.

EDUCATION:   Police officers with college degrees have been identified as able to assimilate a large amount of information and are more goal orientated- both traits desirable for negotiators.   Those who possess higher degrees have increased credibility.

We live in a very litigious society.   One reason we have such an excellent constitution is that since Colonial times, we have had an excess of attorneys.  Defense attorneys, and those who represent the plaintiff in a civil case, are always looking at the way police officers take care of business.  The question is, do they and their cadre of SME’s know more about crisis negotiations than you?   You do not want to learn this hard lesson on the witness stand.

Tactical operations often come with the highest liability of all law enforcement activity.   Because our methods and tactics are more subjective than those of the SWAT Team, RN’s are the weak link the lawyers are looking for.

Few of us negotiate on a regular basis.  Many attorneys for the other side try to use this fact to attack our credibility and professionalism.  Professional memberships, regular training, reading articles, and books, and education are excellent and acceptable alternatives to establish credibility in court.

Russ Moore has been with the San Diego Sheriff Department for over 26 years. He currently holds the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Investigations. During his career, Russ has been assigned to Detentions, Patrol, K-9, SWAT, Scuba Diving, and Investigations. He has been assigned to The Crisis Negotiation Team for 16 years and has been involved in over 200 incidents. Russ holds a MS in Forensic Science and is a POST Master Instructor (Thesis project: Responding to Suicides in Progress). Russ can be contacted at 


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March 2007