Police add texting to crisis negotiation arsenal

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With texting for many now second nature, law enforcement negotiators say they're increasingly being called upon to defuse violent, unpredictable situations through the typed word.

Experts say it's happened enough in the last five years to warrant new specialized training.

Outside Buffalo, New York, in March, a suspect who'd shot at Erie County Sheriff's deputies was carrying on text exchanges with several relatives when negotiators got involved. Eventually, they persuaded him to surrender.

New York State Police spokeswoman Darcy Wells says texting isn't ideal in a crisis, but if it's all they have, troopers will engage.

It presents challenges. Negotiators say cues they take from a person's tone of voice are lost and they worry their messages can be misinterpreted or delayed as they fumble to type.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 258813991 - local8now.com/a?a=258813991