Northwestern College Hosts Week of FBI Hostage Negotiation Training for State & Local Law Enforcement
[Bridgeview, IL] Last week Northwestern College was the site of a weeklong FBI Hostage Negotiation Training Class for state and local law enforcement officers, including several members of the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (SSERT). For four days, approximately 30 law enforcement officers from the Chicagoland area met at the Northwestern College Bridgeview Campus (7725 S. Harlem Avenue) Auditorium where they received comprehensive training on negotiation techniques for a variety of hostage-taking situations. On Friday, the officers/trainees were assigned to teams and applied the techniques learned during five separate hostage situations staged throughout the Northwestern College Campus. The course, Basic Hostage Negotiations, is a federally sponsored 40 hour certification course administrated by the FBI for the training of state and local law enforcement officers. Last week’s training was the result of the efforts of Patrick Siemsen, SSERT’s Assistant Commander and a Sergeant with the Homewood Police Department.
Opening up its campus to the FBI and local law enforcement is just one more way that Northwestern College continues to partner with the community. With the Fall Term not yet started, the campus is a prime location for police training and has been utilized many times in the past by numerous law enforcement agencies for conducting training exercises. Northwestern College features a Criminal Justice Program within its School of Legal Studies, with many of its instructors being current and former law enforcement officers. These instructors thus maintain strong professional relationships with various law enforcement agencies.
After four days of classroom training, on Friday August 31st the officers were assigned to five separate teams where their newly learned skills were tested. Scenarios were set up throughout Northwestern College’s Campus where officers addressed various hostage negotiation situations, with role players acting as hostages, hostage takers, and innocent third parties. Scenarios included a bank robbery; a domestic disturbance; a suicidal subject; an active workplace shooting and a military veteran experiencing a post-traumatic stress disorder episode. During each scenario, the professional police officers and class participants were assigned a role to play in negotiating a safe and effective resolution to the scenario, utilizing the training they had received. Some took to the phones talking down a subject or attempting to secure the safe release of victims and hostages. Others spoke with victims or hostages in order to gather intelligence regarding the situation, the hostage taker, and the scene and/or location. Others compiled the data on boards or brainstormed on how to obtain additional information from the hostages/hostage takers in order to assist in making proper decisions to effectuate a safe resolution. Information gathered was then communicated to the negotiator to resolve the situation. Participants were evaluated by FBI trainers on their ability to safely resolve the critical incident through their emergency communication skills learned throughout the week.
Several officers of SSERT were trained during last week’s course held at Northwestern College. SSERT is a multi-jurisdictional emergency response team currently comprised of nearly forty police departments of the south suburbs. The response team provides member agencies with a tactical response to Critical Incidents including but not limited to: Armed/Suicidal Subject's, Barricaded Subject's, Hostage Situations, Sniper Situations, Dignitary Protection, Civil Disturbances, Disaster Assistance, Service of Arrest Warrants, and Terrorist Incidents.
Last week’s FBI Training included the participation of 2009 Northwestern College graduate Jayle Hankins. Jayle has worked as an officer of the East Hazel Crest Police Department for the past 3 years and is a single mother of 5 children. She was recently selected to serve on SSERT, a position that only a limited number of officers are selected for. She serves in the capacity of hostage negotiator. Jayle participated in the FBI training course at her alma mater in order to further enhance her ability to perform in her SSERT role. Northwestern College is pleased that she continues to come out to the campus to talk to students about her educational experience at the College, her police training, and her role at East Hazel Crest Police Department.
About Northwestern College:
Northwestern College (NC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org. The college offers focused career-oriented associate degree and certificate programs with flexible schedules and a supportive faculty. Day, evening, weekend, online classes and online programs are available with campuses in Chicago, Bridgeview, and Naperville. More information can be found at www.northwesterncollege.edu or by calling toll-free (888) 205-2283.