Some of Northwest Arkansas’ law enforcement got an update to their skills on Friday for folks who are dealing with thoughts of suicide.
Northwest Arkansas Police converged this week to practice their hostage negotiation skills, and gave Fox 24 a behind the scenes look at the life and death decisions of police negotiators.
Officers have three situations to make it through as part of routine training done by police departments in the area.
It’s hosted by Springdale Police, but also included members from Fayetteville and Rogers’ Police Negotiations Teams.
The week of classes trained negotiation teams to handle people with mental illness, as well as people feeling the effects of drugs.
The first one is a hostage situation inside a house, then there is a traffic stop with a suicidal individual and lastly they have a someone that wants to jump off a tall building.
Lt. Derek Wright with Springdale Police said it takes a special kind of officer to be a negotiator, and not anybody can do it.
“So what we look for are officers that go beyond just listening to someone. We try to understand where they are mentally and emotionally and why they are there, what caused them to be where
they are right now. Once officers can understand that and our negotiators get to that point we can work for the best solution and for whatever can help that person get out of that crisis situation,” Wright said.
Police say they encounter situations like these everyday, and practicing them is what saves lives.