Police negotiators often work under a great deal of stress in crisis and hostage situations. Their ability to talk down agitated people and to resolve critical incidents makes them an invaluable part of any police force. Follow the steps below to learn how to be a police negotiator.
- Skill level:
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Add psychology and sociology classes to your course load while in college. To successfully negotiate in high pressure situations, you must have a solid understanding of the human psyche and behavior patterns.
Practice listening. It's vital that police negotiators know how to listen effectively. They must be able to use the information they get to interpret the situation, determine what a hostage taker or distressed person wants, ensure the safety of others and identify how to resolve the crisis. None of this is possible without excellent listening skills.
Talk to people. Obviously, talking is a primary component of the police negotiator position. You must be able to talk to others in a sincere and patient manner and make sure whomever you're negotiating with remains calm. Learn how to build rapport quickly and get others to trust you.
Complete the necessary training and testing required to become a police office. You can't be a police negotiator without first becoming an officer.
Attend specialized training for police negotiators. There are many training courses and certifications available. Your police department can refer you to their preferred programmes.
Prepare yourself for the types of situations in which you'll be working. Examples which may require a police negotiator include hostage situations, terrorist threats or actions, suicidal threats or actions, barricaded people and more.