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Hostage negotiation competition a crucible of law enforcement training

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
January 12, 2009

The Department of Criminal Justice at Texas State University-San Marcos will host approximately 275 officers representing law enforcement agencies from across Texas and the United States during the annual hostage negotiation training and competition Jan. 13-15.

Approximately 20 teams, including the Federal Correctional Institute from Florence, Co., the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will participate alongside municipal and state law enforcement from across the country said Wayman Mullins, professor of criminal justice and an expert in hostage and crisis negotiations and terrorism. Local teams from Hays, Comal, Travis and Williamson counties will participate, along with municipal teams from San Marcos, Austin and San Antonio.

Teams will be conducting mock hostage negotiation exercises from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday at the Hines Academic Center on the Texas State campus. Tuesday’s schedule will focus on classroom sessions.

“They’ll be graded on how they negotiate with the hostage takers,” explained Mullins. “This is a role-playing scenario that tries to mimic real life as much as possible.”

Media coverage of these exercises is invited. For further information, contact Wayman Mullins at the Department of Criminal Justice at (512) 557-5025.

To get to the Hines Academic Center: Take the Aquarena Springs Drive exit on I-35 on the north side of San Marcos. Turn west on Aquarena Springs Drive. Continue until you cross the San Marcos River. Turn right on Sessom Drive immediately after crossing the river. Turn left on State Street immediately before the first traffic light. Go up the hill. Hines Academic Center is the second building on the right on State Street. Parking is available in the parking lot across the street from the Hines Academic Center.