Seminar Title

Hostage Negotiations Phase 1

Dates of Events

11/06/2023 through 11/10/2023

Last Updated: 08/29/2023
Instructor(s): Mark Lowther
Location: South Texas College Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence - 3901 S. Cage Blvd., Pharr, TX 78577
Course Registration Fee: $525
Instructor Bio
Mark Lowther
Mark Lowther is a US Marine Corps veteran. Lt. Lowther has 30 years in public safety. Mark is dual POST certified in Utah as a correctional officer, and a Law Enforcement officer having served most of his career in enforcement.
His background is varied and diverse. He has served as a SWAT hostage negotiator for a major portion of his career. His background and experience come from serving on two Metro SWAT teams. Lt. Lowther has experience on all levels of negotiations from tech to negotiation team leader. He has personally been involved in numerous threatened suicide and SWAT negotiations including barricaded gunmen and hostage incidents. Lt. Lowther also served 10 years as a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officer, instructor, and training coordinator.
Lt. Lowther has spent a major portion of his career in assignments involving crisis negotiation, suicide intervention, verbal de-escalation, peer support, Autism awareness, and mental illness. He has instructed law enforcement locally, nationally, and internationally on those topics. In addition to his law enforcement training, he has received specialized training in crisis counseling and Psychological First Aid. He currently volunteers working a crisis hotline.
Lt. Lowther was named by the Utah Tactical Officers Association as the 2012 Crisis Negotiator of the year. Some of his experiences in SWAT negotiations are featured in the book “Crisis Cops 2”.
Lt. Lowther served as part of the Public Safety Law Enforcement Unit assigned to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. He has also served on a federal task force as a sworn Special Deputy United States Marshal. Mark although retired from full time law enforcement, continues to serve part time in law enforcement with multiple agencies.
Course Objectives
Course Overview:
Hostage Negotiations Phase 1
Tactics ∙ Techniques ∙ Procedures
(Hostage Negotiations 2 is a certification course)

Course Objectives:
Introduction to Crisis/Hostage Negotiation: The history of negotiations will be discussed from NYPD 1973 to present day. Why we negotiate even in barricade situations. Recognize elements of successful crisis negotiation. Apply common crisis negotiation terms. Discussion on how virtually every hostage taker fits into one of three main categories “The Three C’s.”
Team Structure: The ideal team size. The structuring of a crisis negotiation team and the importance of command personnel, as well as command personnel’s understanding and support will be discussed. (This structure works for small and large agencies alike) Determine organizational requirements for an effective crisis response. Coordinate personnel, resources, and equipment for crisis negotiation. Identify training requirements associated with crisis negotiation.
Effective Communication Recognize the value of effective communication in crisis negotiation. Apply the principles of the Behavioral Influence Stairway Model Recognize barriers to effective communication. Apply basic communication skills to crisis negotiation.
Psychology in Negotiations: In this segment, students will discuss in layman’s terms the mental and personality disorders that are prevalent during crisis situations. Identifying the mental or personality disorder and dealing with it in a crisis. Students will learn the three most common types of suspects that are involved in hostage/barricade incidents. Recognize characteristics of mentally ill or emotionally disturbed subject Apply techniques for communicating with mentally ill or emotionally disturbed individuals.
Basics of Negotiating: The function and duties of each team member, including command personnel, will be explained, and discussed. Negotiation strategies will also be discussed. Negotiation Operation Command (NOC) and Tactical Operation Command (TOC) - what are they and how do they function with each other during a SWAT incident. Apply safety and security measures to contain a crisis. Establish command and control during a crisis incident. Mitigate a crisis incident. Establish operational objectives during a crisis. Evaluate and manage risk during a crisis incident. Plan a risk-effective negotiation strategy.
Intelligence: Develop a system for managing intelligence. Recognize the value of intelligence in mitigating a crisis. Differentiate categories of crisis intelligence. Apply intelligence to resolving a crisis incident. Maintain effective incident information charts and dialogue records. Social media is huge. In today’s world the negotiator must be aware of how social media works and how it can help and hinder negotiations.
Case Studies: Each hostage and crisis situation are different. The cases we will review are a diverse sampling of the instructor’s experiences and other incidents from across the nation.
Suicide Intervention: Can you talk a person into committing suicide? The truth and the myths about suicide will be discussed. Recognize suicide trends within the United States. Identify terminology associated with suicide. Identify risk factors associated with suicide. Identify risk indicators associated with the immediacy of suicidal intent. Apply effective intervention techniques for the actively suicidal person.
Role Play: Students will get a chance to participate as a team member and use the most advanced electronic communication equipment that is on the market today. Apply basic communication skills to crisis negotiation. Recognize and apply factors that contribute to successful crisis negotiation. Document crisis negotiation team activities. Apply intelligence to resolving a crisis incident.
Terrorism and extremist groups (Crusaders): Can we negotiate with a terrorist or extremist group? An understanding of the ideology and culture of terrorists and extremist groups will be discussed
Additional topics attendees will have gained knowledge in:
• Recognize circumstances conducive to successful crisis negotiation.
• Recognize and apply strategies that contribute to successful crisis negotiation.
Recognize a non-negotiable situation.
Recognize and understand risk/benefit regarding the use of third-party
This 5 Day Hostage Negotiations training module meets and exceeds suggested
training recommendations and best practices of the National Council of Negotiation Associations. Hostage Negotiations 2 is a certification course

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