Hypothetical Hostage Scenario Essay

Pages: 4 (1417 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Expressive demands are those aimed at meeting the hostage-taker's emotional needs. Bradley's primary instrumental demand is for food. He makes an expressive demand that he not have to do jail time. Bradley's demand for whiskey is primarily an expressive demand, as one presumes he does not actually need whiskey. However, given that Bradley is known to have a drinking problem, it is possible that he is beginning to experience the negative physical side effects of detoxification, which might make his demand for whiskey closer to an instrumental demand.

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Once Bradley begins talking to me, he transitions from the crisis stage of the event to the accommodation/negotiation stage of the event. This is true even when he is angry, ranting, and hanging up the phone; the fact that he is talking to a negotiator and willing to discuss the event moves it into the negotiation stage. When he makes his demands, he is expressing what he needs to get out of this scenario. He openly discusses releasing 5 of the hostages. The fact that he is negotiating is wonderful, but it is important that I not simply pretend to agree to his demands because I want to establish confidence in our relationship. For example, I cannot promise him that he will not go to jail for what he has done; not only is that an unrealistic expectation, if I do promise him that, he will have good reason to doubt my sincerity as a negotiator. His other demands may be possible to meet, but there are pros and cons of doing so. For example, providing him with food may seem like a kind gesture that would establish a good relationship, but it also provides him with the nourishment to prolong the hostage scenario. If that food can be exchanged for the release of a substantial number of hostages, then it is a trade-off that I, as a negotiator, can endorse.

Essay on Hypothetical Hostage Scenario Assignment

However, Bradley's request for alcohol must be viewed distinctly from his request for food. I cannot meet his request for alcohol, even if I find out that Bradley's addiction is sufficiently established to the point that he is experiencing severe physical withdrawal. There is simply too strong of a relationship between alcohol and violence to provide an armed hostage taker with alcohol. There is a risk in denying this request. Bradley does not seem like a man who takes personal responsibility for his actions, making it risky for me to tell him that I cannot provide him with alcohol because he might hurt someone once he has been drinking. However, it is possible to deny the alcohol without blaming Bradley's behavior for the denial, by taking personal responsibility for the fear and discomfort that would result from meeting that request, which would not force Bradley into a defensive position.

When negotiations stall and the tactical team decides to assault the classroom, as a negotiator I would view that as an error. The hostages do not appear to be in immediate danger, as Bradley has not injured any of them. Tactical assaults are highly correlated with death or injury while contained negotiations by well-trained negotiators are considered effective. As a result, tactical assaults when hostages are not in imminent danger are generally a bad idea.

As a negotiator, there are several things I could have done to help the tactical team prepare for an assault. The most important thing to do is to buy them time to get into place; negotiations provide time for the rest of the team to come up with a plan on how to assault a building. One thing I could have done as a negotiator was to try to speak to one of the hostages. The scenario, which had Bradley initially refusing to get on the phone, seems to have had some possibility of communication with the hostages at one point in time. If I could have learned where Bradley was holding them and how they were arranged that would have helped the tactical team. When Bradley requested food, I could have sent in a member of the tactical team to deliver the food and engage in a reconnaissance of the scenario.



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