The Hostage Negotiation Team was founded in 1994 and is comprised of officers from various divisions in the department who have special training and experience in communication with armed subjects, suicidal persons, and hostage takers. The Hostage Negotiation Team is a voluntary on-call unit and all team members have regular duty assignments. The Team is comprised of two Patrol Officers, three Detectives, a Patrol Sergeant, and a Lieutenant assigned to the Uniform Bureau.
The team is also supported by the two dedicate Department of Mental Health clinical social workers assigned to the departments Crisis Intervention Team. These clinicians provide on-scene professional mental health evaluations as an incident is progressing and are a great asset for the team.
The Hostage Negotiation Team concentrates on resolving violent situations through effective communication with those people in crisis and providing them with the means to realize a peaceful resolution. Crisis responses range from barricaded persons to suicide interventions and each requires a calm and deliberate methodology to minimize the effects of the crisis on those involved.