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TACT/ EDU / Crisis Negotiation

 

Tactical Arrest Control Team

Purpose:

"Supporting the Service by Safely Controlling High Risk Situations with Tactical Team Intervention."

The Tactical Arrest Control Team (TACT) was initially formed in 1975 made up of five members. The Team now consists of a thirteen officer Collateral Team. The Team consists of a Commander, Team Leader, Assistant Team Leader, two Snipers, seven Operators, and an Auxiliary Sniper. The team generally has members represented on each of the four Patrol Crews, who provide “Enhanced Patrol” or Tactical Support during regular their duties. Members maintain expertise in, Specialty Impact Munitions, OC & Chemical Agents, Forced Entry, and Firearms, through a combination of in-service and outside training.  Recently much of the Team’s outside training has taken place in Calgary with the Calgary Police Service Tactical unit.  

Typically the type of calls for service requiring the assistance of the TACT include: High Risk Arrests, Barricaded Subject, and High Risk Search Warrants.  In addition the team will often assist on less critical calls throughout the year where their specialized skills helped resolve incidents safely. 

Explosives Disposal Unit

The Medicine Hat Police Service Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) has been in existence since 1982 when the Service's first Police Explosive Technician was trained.

The EDU is comprised of four members, two Police Explosive Technicians (PET) and two Police Explosive Technician Assistants (PETA).

The unit is equipped with all equipment required to enable the unit to respond to any complaint involving found explosives, military ordinance or improvised explosive devices.

EDU uses equipment such as the Robotic Mobile Investigators (RMI), field x-ray unit, EOD bomb suit and various other tools to deal with any situation that involves the handling of explosive material.  EDU combines technology and extensive training to ensure the safe handling and disposal of explosives.

Crisis Negotiations

The job description of a police negotiator used to be pretty much limited to persuading barricaded suspects to release their hostages and surrender. Accordingly, these dedicated officers were once called "hostage negotiators."

Incidents involving barricaded subjects, hostage takers, or persons threatening suicide represent especially trying and stressful moments for law enforcement personnel who respond to them. Officers first responding to the scene must quickly assess the totality of the situation, secure the area, gauge the threat to hostages or bystanders, and request additional units as appropriate. Crisis negotiators must establish contact with subjects, identify their needs, and work to resolve tense and often volatile standoffs without loss of life.

Today's hostage negotiators are called "crisis negotiators", and with good reason. Today the responsibilities of these officers reach far beyond talking down hostage takers and now include suicide intervention, high-risk warrant service, and working with emotionally disturbed persons.

The Medicine Hat Police Service Crisis Negotiation Team was formed in 1989 when the first negotiator was trained.  Today, the team consists of six members who works alongside TACT and an incident commander to resolve these sorts of incidents in a safe manner.  During a full negotiation four members would be used at the same time: a primary negotiator, a secondary negotiator, a scribe and a liaison.

Negotiators successfully resolve crisis situations by using active listening skills, seeking to understand the crisis, and together work out a successful conclusion.  The skills of a negotiator prevent major tragedies and have never before been so important.