Unit Commander:

Lieutenant James Penniman

Emergency Requests for the services of the Crisis Negotiations Team are coordinated through the Special Operations Commander, who is contacted via the State Police Communications Section at 508-820-2121.

The mission of the Massachusetts State Police Crisis Negotiation Team is to defuse potentially life threatening situations through the use of proven verbal crisis management techniques. The Crisis Negotiation Team responds to incidents involving suicidal, armed/barricaded and hostage holding individuals. The Team is a voluntary on-call unit within the Special Operations Section of the Division of Field Services. Team members represent various ranks and positions within the Department. They respond to Departmental and local agency requests throughout the Commonwealth whenever their services are needed.

The Crisis Negotiation Team came into existence in 1983 when several officers assigned to Troop F at Logan International Airport received training in Hostage Negotiations due to the threat posed by international terrorists. This small cadre of trained officers began to respond to requests for their services throughout the Commonwealth. Additional Team members were trained in the ensuing years to facilitate optimal response time through the state. The present complement of Negotiators consists of 21 officers, men and woman, drawn from different Stations, Sections and Units throughout the Department.

The Crisis Negotiation Team was formerly known as the Hostage Negotiation Team. The name change occurred in 1996 to reflect a more accurate description of the incidents the Team responds to from purely suicidal subjects such as bridge jumpers, to armed and barricaded subjects, to subjects who have taken hostages during the course of a criminal act. The Crisis Negotiation Team works closely with the State Police STOP Team as well as other units within Special Operations to resolve a critical incident.

All members of the Crisis Negotiation Team complete a basic 40 hour Negotiators course prior to being placed on the Team. Monthly Training Sessions and Team meetings are held throughout the year. All Team members have taken additional courses and seminars to further enhance their skills.

The Crisis Negotiation Team is a voluntary on-call unit within Tactical Operations. The men and woman who make up the Crisis Negotiation Team have proven to be dedicated and hard-working officers on the Massachusetts State Police. They are committed to ensuring that the Mission of the Crisis Negotiation Team is met.

To Contact the Team:

The Team Leader of the Crisis Negotiation team, Lieutenant James R. Penniman, can be reached at State Police Shelburne Falls at 413-625-6311.

Emergency requests for the services of the Crisis Negotiations Team are coordinated through the Special Operations Commander. The Special Operations Commander is contacted through the State Police Communications Section at 508-820-2121.