|FOX 17 INFORMER|
Ten hostage crisis teams from across the state of Iowa gathered at Principal Park in Des Moines Wednesday for hostage negotiation training.
“The idea here is to apply skills they’ve learned in training,” said Deborah McMahon, chief facilitator of the program. “And do it in a competitive environment where they can see how good they’re doing against other folks.”
Iowa Law Enforcement Teams Test Hostage Negotiation Skills in Des Moines
The program is hosted by the Iowa Department of Corrections, and includes both training and a competition where the teams work through a hypothetical hostage crisis scenario based on a real incident that occurred in Florida.
Trained law enforcement officers acted as the “bad guy” over the phone with each team just down the hall in the Principal Park Skybox. They were given background on the criminal, as well as training on how to respond to certain situations. From there, it was their choice on how to interact with the law enforcement officers on the other end of the phone. They could choose to surrender peacefully or respond violently.
Judges from several federal agencies such as the FBI sat in on each team’s scenario and rated their performance. The top three teams from the competition will advance to a national competition held in Texas. Organizers say the purpose of creating a competition within the training program is to allow officers to see how their skills match up to their peers at a state- and national-level.
“What’s impressive to me is that a state sparsely populated as Iowa is, that you have so many teams that could so easily compete with any of the big city teams around the United States,” McMahon said.
Training programs like this one help law enforcement learn ways to resolve conflict without force, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections.
“We seek ways that don’t necessarily involve the application of force,” she said. “And everybody here today is very, very dedicated to using communication as a means for resolution.”
This was the second year for the program in Iowa.
FOX NEWS (from foxnews.com)
|Classroom sex abuse case to cost more than $100 million|
|Once lawyers began digging into Mark Berndt's past, they discovered a three-decade pattern of odd behavior and complaints about the teacher that school administrators either missed or ignored.|
|Authorities: Man arrested in 2007 killing of Colorado mom who worked as escort was a client|
|A single mother who vanished from western Colorado more than seven years ago led a double life as a paid escort with many unsavory clients, investigators say.|
|Polish town opposes Winnie-the-Pooh for dubious gender, immodest clothing|
|Officials in a Polish town have opposed a proposition to name a playground after Winnie-the-Pooh due to the bear's unclear gender and immodest clothing.|
|Official: Ferguson grand jury still reviewing evidence|
|Activists, authorities and the family of Michael Brown called for calm as a grand jury drew closer to an announcement in the Ferguson police shooting. But it was unclear whether the panel was still at work or when it would render a decision.|