News & Announcements

NYC Celebrates 40 Year Milestone of Hostage Negotiations

December 7, 2020

On April 8, 2013, the NYPD held their 40th Anniversary ceremony in Brooklyn, NY to honor the Hostage Negotiation Team.  In attendance was Dr. Harvey Schlossberg and Captain Frank Bolz as well as the past commanders from the NYPD HNT.  About 300 former and current neogitations from all over the country attended to hear the NYPD Police Commission praise the history of the HNT and their daily  accomplishments. 

Congratulations to Lt. Cambria and the NYPD HNT for their continued success and influence throughout the world.

Comments read during the ceremony by NYAHN President Sam Farina consisted of the following:

"It is a great honor to stand before you today to acknowledge NYPD’s development of crisis negotiations in a time back in American History when law enforcement had great difficulty resolving critical incidents. Certainly the credit goes to the fathers of negotiations, Dr. Harvey Schlossberg and Captain Frank Bolz as well as the continued leadership thereafter of every HNT team commander that has continued with the proud tradition of the negotiation tenets that is incorporated into the motto, “Talk to Me.”

It is important to note that there have been a vast number of initiatives in law enforcement that were introduced throughout the years and touted as being worthwhile, proactive, effective, community friendly and/or successful in reducing criminal activity. However, no initiative in our field has ever had such a statistical and practical pervasive impact on public safety as seen in the doctrine of hostage negotiations. The countless lives that have been saved over the past 40 years is an incredible tribute to the development and introduction of crisis communications that utilized the notion of “isolate and negotiate.” Simple in its delivery when utilized by trained professionals who employ the key elements of active listening and non-violent communication.

By deviating from the “action imperative” and move toward the psychological aspect of bringing about influence through empathy and rapport building, the NYPD set the stage for crisis management via hostage negotiations that remains the single most effective tool to manage persons in crisis, in the history of law enforcement.

President JFK once said,

“Violence is essentially wordless, and begins when thought and rational communication have broken down…” Over the past 40 years, NYPD HNT has avoided violence through the use of rational communication. This strategy will certainly outlive us all and continue on in our noble profession in perpetuity."