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Author: Subject: Any hostage negotiators on scene?
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Registered: 7-5-2012
Location: Wageningen, the Netherlands, Europe
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JulNoWriMo Title: De gijzeling - The hostage situation

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[*] posted on 7-11-2012 at 08:58 AM
Any hostage negotiators on scene?

Because I'm writing a robbery gone wrong and was wondering if I (or actually, my fellow officer) am not making some serious flaws in the negotiations. Especially in the beginning. I translated it all from dutch (my native language) but it all plays in the US. I only translated the parts the police can see. But if you are lacking important info that the police would normally have collected I will add it. The building only has a front window and a in the back a stockroom, the door to the shop is made of metal. See the attachment for how the shop is modeled, I don't have the exact sizes.

If you are interested I can place more, but I think this will give at least the situation, and if I understood correctly the start of the negotiations are very important to be done correctly.
(any other comments, both on the story as on my english are welcome. I haven't been writing in English for some time but I do speak it quite a lot. And I've had my junior/high as bilangual class, getting around half the subjects in english. So feel free to correct stupid (and not so stupid) mistakes, I should probably know better. And I'm always open to learning new story-things.)


A silent alarm goes off with the police at 19.55 (7.55pm) that there is something off at the small supermarket at the …, as it there is a car nearby they are on scene within 3 minutes. When they walk inside with pulled guns a hostage situation arises. The masked man waves his gun (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/86...) in the air once and then points it at the female cashier in front of him, who is shaking so hard she can barely stand. The owner of the shop is standing at a distances. The masked man shouts “You officers, leave the building.” As they doubt, “or I’ll kill her!” they walk backwards out of the building. Once they are out they see that the man talks to someone, and the shopkeeper switches place with the cashier, who walks out of sight. The police that are at the back of the building try to get in but from a window they see that the doors of the stockroom are closed by the cashier and assume they get locked. The masked man and the shopkeeper walk out of sight.

First they set the parameter and the swat and the crisis negotiation unit are informed and on their way. Decided is to let the man first cool off for about 10 minutes and after that establish contact. They prevent all incoming and outgoing calls from the building except to their number and they make sure all the sirens are off to prevent further invoking of the subject. After a few minutes they have the possibility to see through the upper window, but it gives them no view on the hostages and the subject. They do see that the coffee table gets moved into the area at the left hind corner by two other hostages. They now have seen that there are at least 4 hostages, but as a woman and a young child were screaming when the officers walked in they know that there are at least 6, maybe more. After 10 minutes they call but they get the shopkeeper on the line.

“With Doran Millar of Walk in Shopping.”
“Hello Doran, with Johan Brooke of the … (I don’t have a place yet) police.”
Doran places is hand on the microphone and informs the subject that it is the police.
Johan asks, “Can you put him on the line?”
They can’t hear the answer, but they do hear the reaction of Doran, “Not yet, sir?” “They have to call back in 15 to 20 minutes?”
Then the hand is taken off the microphone and they get Doran back on the line.
“Please call back in 15 to 20 minutes.”
“Doran, does this phone have redial and are there any wounded?”
“Yes, no.” they hear from the background an angry voice shouting “No yes/no-talk.”
“Just stay calm and tell him what we asked.”
“They asked if this phone had redial, I answered yes, they also asked if there were any wounded, I answered no.” in the background they hear the subject telling to hang up the phone.
“Tell him it’s okay to redial us as well, now you better hang up.”

Within a minute after the call they see the shopkeeper get into his office and take out pen and paper and a chair. He walked the long way, giving a clue that the subject was more at the front while the hostages were in the back against the stockroom door. After this there was a silence. The 15 minutes are almost past when the CNU arrives on scene. By phone they were already kept up to date so once at location they just do a quick round to see the situation for themselves and after that they call, the phone rings a few times but then it’s picked up.

“With Mike.”
“Hello Mike, this is Shawn Scott of the Crisis Negotiation Unit. Am I talking to the one in charge?”
“I’m the one with the gun, if that is what you.”
“All right Mike, I’m here to listen to you and to help you.”
“By locking me in? COME ON!” they hear Mike pacing around, but he doesn’t hang up.
“Sadly enough I cannot change that.”
“What does that help me!”
“Look, I’m gonna honest with you. The wisest option is to come outside calmly without a weapon.”
There’s a silence. “And then, all would be for nothing. I can’t do that.”
“Okay, I’m here to help you. Sometimes people decided that the decision they’ve made was too hasty and when you ask them, are willing to come outside immediately, that is the only reason I asked.”
“But I didn’t take this decision, you did that for me. I have to do this.”
“How did we take this decision for you?”
“By being so early. I wasn’t in there for 3 minutes and you were already at the door. And more we closing in fast!”
“There was a unit nearby and the rest of the units responded as quickly as they could. It is the job of the police to react as fast as possible.”
“You were never so fast if me or my sister needed you!”
“I’m very sorry that, but sadly enough I can’t change that anymore. How are you doing?”
They hear him snort.
“What do you think! I’m locked up here, with people inside that want to be gone and people outside that want me dead.”
“Mike, nobody here wants you dead. We want everyone, that includes you, to walk out that door safely. That’s our goal.”
“Like you would just let me walk away, joker.”
“We can’t let you walk away, but that doesn’t mean that we want to kill you. Quite the opposite, I want to help you. But I’ll need your help with that. Keeping the circumstances in mind, how are you doing?”
They hear him sight, but he stops pacing around.
“Okay I guess, nobody’s been hurt. A woman was panicking but the others calmed her down.”
“All right, that is good to hear. Can you tell me who are with you?”
It stays silent at the other and of the line, but just before they want to change the question Mike starts to talk.
“There are 3 employees and 8 customers. Owner Doran, cashier Lisa and the general help. Then there is 6-year old Mary, and her mum… What was her name again?” they hear him covering the microphone and then call “Mother of Mary, what was your name again?” after that, the mic. is uncovered.
“Her mother Nina. Then you’ve got the panicking mum with her toddler boy who behaves awfully lot similar to his mum. Private Patrick, and almost 7th grader Todd, and then there is the wanderer.”
“That was very helpful of you. If I understand it correctly, there are 3 children.”
“Yes, three children, and all three are doing well. Patrick supports Todd, the wanderer the boy and Nina her daughter.”
“That is very good to hear. It sounds like you pay close attention to them.”
“They are humans! And as long as you stay out and give me what I want nothing will happen to them.”
Mike sounds pretty upset, but after the first few words said with a raised voice he quickly softens it again, but the tone doesn’t change. Maybe he doesn’t want his victims to hear what he says.
“It is very good that you’re aware of that. I know it might sound stupid, but many people stop realizing that in a situation as yours. So that is a very positive thing.”
“Yeah, I bet. Before tomorrow 7am I want a car parked in front of the door, with automatic transmission with in the car a telephone and 10.000$... in notes no bigger than 50. And no gps or that sort of junk on board, or being followed.”
“All right, so you want transportation, a telephone and money.”
“I want 10.000$ and not a cent less, before 7am.” He suddenly sounds extremely agitated. As if there is more to this amount than just cash. As well as the amount that is quite low, but still. There was no chance that such amounts were in that shop.
“You’re very clear. “10.000$, transportation and a telephone before tomorrow 7am. Is this correct?”
“Yes. Call be again in half an hour with the progress-report.”
“Mike, don’t hang up. It’s…” they lost him.

Outside the temperature is dropping rapidly, the weather is expected to drop below zero just over 10pm, and stay at -1 for the rest of the night. And the deadline wasn’t anywhere near, but it sounded as if that was a good thing. His voice had a lot of anxiety in him when he retold his demands. As if he had a deadline himself to catch. That could make the situation a lot more difficult, although if they could find out what it was, it might also be the way to end this peacefully. One of the officers is told to get the paperwork done for a loan of 10.000$, just to be ready if the situation gets that way. But first he has to try it differently. When they are waiting for the last minutes to pass, they are called from the inside.
“With Shawn.”
“With Mike.”
“Hey Mike, good that you call. Keeping in contact keeps the worries down.”
“Yeah right.” Apparently, Mike isn’t that happy about the way that was brought.
“We would like to know how everything is going inside so it would be nice if you would keep the line open. How is it going?”
“To the circumstances, good. Most of them are almost asleep, but three guests are still sharp. But about keeping the line open, we have to arrange something for that.”
“Arrange something, can you explain that?”
“Well, this phone is getting empty and I hate having a phone in my hands constantly. So if you me to keep the line open we need to find a solution for both problems.”
“Okay, what do you have in mind?”
“A mobile phone with earplugs or such a one ear headset thing. One that works easily and one that I, if I want to, can easily unplug for an in-hand call as most of the time with these things you need to talk louder. And I should be able to call you by redial pushing the call-button twice.”
“Okay, so a mobile phone with the possibility to call hands free and with hands. I’m going to try and get that arranged but you have to keep the line open, what do you think?”
“I can’t promise I’ll keep it open constantly, but I will keep it open most of the time.”
“That’s good, I really appreciate it that you think along so much. That’s how we will get to end this safely.”
“As long as you meet the demands and the deadline, we will end this safely.”
“Is the situation inside all right for the rest, outside it is getting pretty cold.”
“In here the temperature is dropping as well, that’s why I also want 14 warm blankets. Then nobody has to be cold.”
“I will try to arrange that, but I’ll need something in return to get that done.”
“As what?”
“What seems reasonable to you? You’ve got a lot of people in there, and that doesn’t make it easier for you.”
“Do a bid.”
“The mothers with their children, the situation will become more predictable for you as well then.”
“4 is too much.”
“All right, what do you think is fitting?”
“I’ll release one guest after you have dropped the phone and she has picked it up, and when we’ve exchanged the blankets I will let one or two more go, depending on how everything goes.”
“That’s seems like a good deal to me. How do you want to get the phone and the blankets?”

What follows is a lengthy but precise desciption of how to deliver the stuff. And I thought that for now this would give a pretty decent picture of my negotiation skills. As the officer is CNU, he should make no noob-errors, and therefore I ask your help.

(btw. people that understand dutch and are interested in the full story can send me a message).

julno 2012 de gijzeling.JPG - 54kB

[Edited on 11-7-2012 by Domor]
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