The HNT provides specialized skills needed in crisis diffusion and acts in cooperation with other specialty units within the Spokane Police Department (SPD). Additionally, the HNT has the priorities of preserving the lives of hostages, police, public and suspect(s) in crisis situations.
SPD HNT has its own mobile negotiations unit. This vehicle acts as the operations center for the team. The team is able to operate on-site in this converted RV, that has been retro-fitted to include a command area, intelligence center, a recording and evidence section, a tactical operations center and of course a negotiations area. The vehicle is equipped with throw phones, cell phones, and computers to access the local police data bases, school data bases and the internet as well as gang and drug intelligence units. Spokane PD also has an intelligence gathering unit specializing in electronic surveillance techniques that assists our unit. SPD HNT also has on board a consultant psychologist who often assists in training and callouts for advice on dealing with mental subjects. We also have a departmental chaplain who often responds with the team to provide break areas, hydration, food, caffeine, and other needs of the hostage and SWAT teams as well as patrol.
SPD HNT regularly trains a minimum of one day each month, which consists of speakers, scenarios, reality training other units within our department (SWAT, EDU, Dignitary). We also train with other crisis negotiation teams in the Eastern Washington area. Our team attends as many conferences, seminars and training sessions with professionals in our field as possible. All of our negotiators are certified in crisis negotiations (CIT) with mentally ill subjects. This training specializes in drug induced psychoses, suicidal subjects and the wide range of other mental illnesses and intervention skills.
All 10 members of our team (including a sergeant) are dedicated to preserving the lives of all citizens in the community, regardless of the crisis.