Insight into the mind of a negotiator - FOX34 Lubbock

Insight into the mind of a negotiator

It's a unit we hope you never need, but officer's words can mean life or death for some people. Law enforcement negotiators handle everything from a hostage stand-off to suicidal subjects. In an already dangerous field, negotiators can be the voice of "protect and serve". 

Kimberlee Crain has been a member of The Lubbock Police Department's negotiating unit since 2014. 
 
"Uses of force, especially these days, it's a big deal and it could go very poorly. So if you can talk somebody into handcuffs instead of forcing somebody into handcuffs, in my mind, that's always the preferred option," Crain said. 

Brandon Pierpoint has been negotiating 15 out of his 17 years with the sheriff's office. It's an extra duty, but one he commits to. 
 
"Everything from hostage barricades, to suicidal persons, to mental health patients, it's pretty vast," Pierpoint said. 

With a vast amount of scenarios, comes thorough training. Officers, deputies and state troopers train eight hours a month with psychological consultant Andy Young. Every now and then Young said there's instances where intense training proves necessary. 

"People who wanted to jump off a bridge and we were out there for five hours in the elements, we had a 15 hour hostage situation back in 2003, so in those situations, it's kind of an understatement that it takes patience to try to get through those," Young said. 

Pierpoint said what keeps him going is knowing he's having a direct impact on people's lives. 
 
"Sometimes when you can help someone in a moment of crisis, open up their vision a little bit, and maybe offer solutions they haven't thought of. That's beneficial to everybody," he said. 
 
Along with the monthly training, Young said he'll send officers to state conferences and have speakers come in for special training.

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