Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Joshua Ozymy


After a hostage negotiation incident, it is common practice for either no debriefing to occur or a formal, administration-attended debriefing to discuss issues and possible emotional as well as, psychological stressors with the hostage negotiation team members. However, many times negotiators are reluctant to be honest in front of administrators or supervisors about their weaknesses as they feel this will lead to termination or loss of service weapon. Little is known about what effect, if any, best practice hostage negotiation after incident debriefings would have given regarding possible psychological distresses on the negotiators as well as effects on team bonding. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate whether and how after incident hostage negotiation debriefing strategies lower PTSD symptoms among hostage negotiators. The theoretical framework for this study was Kelley's followership theory. The sample was 12 negotiators from a local county negotiation team and a local city negotiation team. The research questions focused on hostage negotiator preference for debriefing strategies, honesty in debriefings in relation to stressors, opinions of the meeting's effects on dealing with trauma, and effects on team bond building. The results were that peer run, peer driven debriefing strategies are most wanted and most effective for hostage negotiators. The positive social change implications are numerous, including a more effective, more mentally fit, and closer bonded hostage negotiation team capable of saving more lives who in turn will have a healthier family life, which will resonate into the community.