LPD negotiators to teach next generation of crisis interventionists

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 11:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Negotiators from the Lubbock Police Department are gearing up to teach the next generation of crisis interventionists. Two officers will teach national courses on hostage negotiation and crisis intervention. The classes are the same ones taught by the retired commander of NYPD’s negotiating team, Jack Cambria.

Raul Diaz, property crimes detective and leader for one of LPD’s negotiation teams, says with law enforcement under a magnifying glass in today’s society, it’s even more important they get things right using communication.

“A negotiator is going to be the person that talks to you in your moment of crisis,” Det. Diaz said.

Diaz has been called out more than 40 times to those moments. He says negotiators are who family members and friends lean on to bring potentially harmful situations to a peaceful resolution. Most of the time, their involvement isn’t as visible to the public.

“It’s more of being that unknown face. Sometimes we’re just a voice on the phone. That’s okay because that’s, we did our job in that moment. We were there for them in that moment. And if they have that moment again in the future then we’ll be there again,” Diaz said.

Those moments can include warrant services, barricaded subjects, hostage or suicidal situations and domestic violence.

Seven-year negotiator, Corporal Kimberlee Crain, says officers never want to be forceful if they don’t have to. They want to keep other officers, like the SWAT team, from getting involved.

“If we can kind of just weasel our way in and get our stuff done and they’re just there for show, I’m all about that,” Cpl. Crain said.

Corporal Crain is one of the Lubbock natives who will be teaching officers from across the nation who want to sit in the “hot seat.”

She says even though many of the situations we see here don’t compare to places like New York and Los Angeles, it all comes back to the basics.

“You learn the basics of how to talk to people to do the big things. It’s a huge honor for me. I feel very fortunate to have been afforded this opportunity,” Crain said.

Crain says officers from all across the country will learn the primary and secondary negotiator positions, how to work intelligence, run equipment, document callouts and the roles of supervisors. Her class will be in Detroit the first week of August.

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