LPD Negotiator Discusses SWAT Callout

By: Elizabeth Lane
Posted: Feb 20, 2017 06:39 PM CST
Updated: Feb 20, 2017 06:39 PM CST

LUBBOCK TX - What Lubbock Police were treating as a potential hostage situation ended peacefully Sunday, partially in thanks to an experienced team of negotiators.

Officer Coby McBroom was just one of 15 negotiators on the case, saying in high-pressure situations, it takes a team to get the job done. McBroom said they train often and are more than prepared for any situation they might face.

"We, as negotiators, have to have that empathy and the ability to invest ourselves in that person and get to understand them and know them, and figure what is going on in their life, and why they're feeling the way they're feeling."

The Officer said each person on their team is competent in all areas of negotiation, and ready to go when they're called upon. Once the on-call Sergeant assigns responsibilities, the team jumps into action.

"They'll divide up who's going to be the primary negotiator, who's going to be the back-up, who's going to be intelligence, who's going to start gathering the intelligence, who's going to set up the command vehicle...so that we can start our negotiation process."

The key to a successful outcome is being prepared for anything.

"They just lay it all out and we roll right through it, and it doesn't really matter if it's a hostage situation, if it's a barricaded subject, if it's a suicidal subject, the steps are the same," McBroom said, "If you keep the steps the same, you work through your processes the same, everything runs a lot smoother, and it makes a more competent and more efficient team."

And another major key: finding a connection with the person on the other end.

"When someone's in crisis and they're having an issue, you've got to build that rapport...and if you don't [build that rapport] you're not going to get anything accomplished, at least nothing positive," McBroom said.

For the Officer, being a negotiator is more than just a job. He said he wants to get people the help they need.

"The risk involved with being a negotiator is no different than the risk involved with being a cop, and when we all chose to put the badge on, we understand the inherent, the risks involved in our job. You do the job because you love the job, regardless of the risk."

Posted on March 2, 2017 .