Members of the Columbia Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) reveled in the spotlight after taking first place in the Missouri Association of Crisis Negotiators (MACN) Negotiator’s Challenge.
The team, typically found in the background communicating with a violent or suicidal subject during a standoff, was the center of attention during the sixth annual competition. The event, which also serves a training opportunity for CNT, took place on Thursday, May 31 at The Crossing in Columbia. Teams from Kansas City to St. Charles, and as south as Arkansas participated in the event. They were judged in various categories consisting of negotiation techniques, intelligence gathering, and overall effectiveness of resolving a crisis through a peaceful resolution.
Lt. Eric Hughes has been the commander of CNT for several years. He says he appreciates the rare opportunities like the MACN Negotiator’s Challenge which allows the team to effectively practice negotiation techniques, skills that are oftentimes difficult to practice due to the nature of a crisis event.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this team of dedicated officers," said Hughes. "Their commitment to train, their commitment to protect the public, and their commitment to this community is truly admirable!"
Outside of events like these, CNT participates in a continuous education program instructed by Crisis Systems Management, a training and consulting service to law enforcement and Department of Defense agencies throughout the world. The training consists of crisis/hostage negotiation, law enforcement resiliency, and peer support.
With winning the challenge, the 10 CNT members now have an opportunity to attend and compete in a national competition at the 29th Annual Crisis and Hostage Negotiation Seminar and Conference at Texas State University in early 2019.
The Columbia Police Department is proud of the hard work and success of the Crisis Negotiation Team, as well as their continuous commitment to excellence!