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Seminar Title:  
Advanced Hostage and Crisis Negotiations

DATES:  7/8/2019 through 7/11/2019

INSTRUCTOR(S):  Mark Lowther

LOCATION:  Comal County Sheriff's Office - 3005 W. San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX  78130

HOTEL:  Fairfield Inn & Suites - New Braunfels, TX  (830) 626-3133
$93.00 Single or Double
Book Room Online Here

COURSE REGISTRATION FEE:  $425.00 Includes all training materials, and a Certificate of Completion.

Instructor Bio

Lt. Mark Lowther (Ret.)
Mark Lowther is a US Marine Corps veteran. Lt. Lowther retired after 24 years of service with the Weber County Sheriff's Office (Ogden, Utah). His background is varied and diverse. He has served as a SWAT hostage negotiator for a major portion of his career. His background and experience comes from serving on two Metro SWAT teams. Lt. Lowther has experience on all levels of negotiations from tech to negotiation team leader. He has personally been involved in numerous threatened suicide and SWAT negotiation incidents. Lt. Lowther was also a primary negotiator during one of the first known hostage negotiations involving social media.

Lt. Lowther has extensive background and training in suicide intervention and mental illness. He has instructed law enforcement locally and nationally on law enforcement interaction with suicidal individuals and the mentally ill. Lt. Lowther has presented on crisis/hostage negotiations at conferences for the International Association of Hostage Negotiators, Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, and the Midwest Association of Crisis Negotiators. He was named by the Utah Tactical Officers Association as the 2012 Crisis Negotiator of the year.

In addition to his duties on the SWAT hostage negotiation team, Lt. Lowther has worked in corrections, patrol, detectives, vice/gangs, motors, warrants, and court security. Lt. Lowther served as part of the Public Safety Law Enforcement Unit assigned to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. He has also served on a federal task force as a sworn Special Deputy United States Marshal.

Mark has served as a public information officer, watch commander, patrol precinct commander, and court security services commander. Mark although retired from full time law enforcement, continues to serve as a part time deputy sheriff and maintains Utah Peace Officer status.


Pre-Payment is NOT required to register or attend this seminar

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Course Objectives

This course is designed to build upon the officer’s basic negotiation skills and training. Students attending must have successfully completed Crisis Hostage Negotiations – Phase I II course or a 40-hour equivalent, prior to attending this course. This is NOT the Phase III certification course, but it does meet the requirements to recertify for Phase III. This course is not suggested students with no prior negotiation training.

Dealing with Death "When it goes bad": Despite our best efforts, sometimes death occurs during negotiations. This can affect the negotiation team particularly the primary negotiator. This instruction will discuss these issues, identifying and possible courses of action to deal with them.

Managing Intel and NOC operations:  Intelligence is extracted from information. Collecting, analyzing, and utilizing intelligence is crucial. This block of instruction will cover the effective use of intelligence in the NOC using situation boards.

Negotiations Via Text message:   The average American sends 678 texts per month. 80% of adults now text. Texting is here to stay. Many subjects prefer texting over voice communication. Texting bring a set of complex issues that negotiators must understand and be able to work with. There are a few advantages to texting for negotiators as well. Texting issues will be discussed, and texting techniques discussed.

Case Law relating to crisis negotiations:   There are numerous case laws not just Downs V US that affect directly and indirectly crisis negotiations. Varies case law will be discussed with its implications and effects on crisis negotiations.

Diverse Populations:   Combat veterans, autistic, individuals and the hearing impaired are populations can involve unique challenges for the crisis negotiator.

Suicide Intervention:   Can you talk a person into committing suicide? The truth and the myths about suicide will be discussed. Recognize suicide trends within the United States. Identify terminology associated with suicide. Identify risk factors associated with suicide. Identify risk indicators associated with the immediacy of suicidal intent. Apply effective intervention techniques for the actively suicidal person.

Talk from cover/Open air situations:  23% of negotiations take place in a talk from cover situation. This instruction will cover the dynamics of negotiation in an environment that does not involve the comfort and convenience that vehicle born NOCs provide.

Measuring progress in negotiation:  Since the introduction in the 1970’s of negotiation as a tactical option in law enforcement responding to crisis and hostage incidents, it has been vital to understand how to measure progress in negotiations as it greatly influences the decision-making process of command and that of other tactical options.

Cell Phone issues in negotiations:  103% of the US population own a cell phone. Cell phones create unique challenges in negotiations. As the negotiator we want to be the subjects only contact. This block of instruction will cover methods and processes to work with cell phone providers to shut down or modify cellular service.

Negotiating with the hostage:   Hostages personality and behavior can sometimes become an issue. Topic will cover dynamics in dealing with hostages and concepts such as Stockholm syndrome and London syndrome.

Negotiating via translator:  This section of instruction will discuss the challenges in negotiating using a translator.

Art of coaching:  Effective coaching of the primary negotiator is essential. This instruction will cover proper and effective coaching techniques as well as common mistakes such as over coaching and bypassing the coach.

Risk Assessment:   This section of instruction will give the negotiator an assessment process to assist in understanding the motivation of the suspect and determining the risk of violence.

Role Play:    Students will get a chance to participate as a team member and use the most advanced electronic equipment that is on the market today. Apply basic communication skills to crisis negotiation. Recognize and apply factors that contribute to successful crisis negotiation. Document crisis negotiation team activities. Apply intelligence to resolving a crisis incident.


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