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Harvey Hostage Negotiator's Inside Look at Standoff

by Jeff Thompson
September 2014

Crisis Negotiator Blog by Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

In an ABC7 exclusive, a key hostage negotiator gave Eyewitness News an inside look at how he and others helped bring that suburban standoff in Harvey to a peaceful end.

It was a worse-case scenario: six kids and two adults held at gunpoint by two men who had already shot two police officers. State police, the South Suburban Emergency Response Team and the Cook County Sheriff's Police all came together with one goal: get everyone out alive. It ended almost a day after it began.

Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, SWAT team members removed windows and doors from the building after
a 20-hour standoff in Harvey, Illinois.

..."They wanted cigarettes. Not a problem. We went down to the store, purchased some
cigarettes and we were able to trade two packs of cigarettes in exchange for one of
the children. (Good trade.) Obviously a fantastic trade," said Rule.

See the full video clip here.

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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