Local negotiator explains how to handle a hostage situation - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local negotiator explains how to handle a hostage situation

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Irondale Police Detective Michael Mangina (abc3340.com) Irondale Police Detective Michael Mangina (abc3340.com)
IRONDALE - AL -
We wanted to take a closer look at what it's like for law enforcement in a situation like the one in Dale County - What it's like on the scene and how officers handle the emotional stress, so we spoke with an FBI trained negotiator to find out.

"As you're driving to the scene, you're going to start thinking what to say,  how to react, you're going to be calming yourself down and like I said, since it involves a child, there's a little bit more emotion involved in it and you've got to set that aside so that you keep this guy calm and you keep him talking," Detective Michael Mangina, Irondale Police said.

The job of negotiator is a difficult one. Communication with a suspect is the key to resolving a hostage situation without anyone getting hurt. But this isn't a normal hostage case. Here, a 5-year-old's life is at stake.


"What makes it worse out of all the other possible situations there could be is the fact that there is a child involved," Detective Mangina said. "The police officers, we're all big, bad and tough, but when it comes to a child, it's a different story. Any time there is a child involved, there is more pressure on us because we all have children ourselves. It always makes us think about our kids."

FBI trained negotiator, Detective Michael Mangina says in each hostage situation, there are steps that must be followed.

"I think the mentality is, we just want to go in there and save him," Detective Mangina said. "We want to rescue him. We want to just barge in there and help him and bring him out. But we know we can't do that. This is a situation that you have to resolved slowly and you have to go through a lot of steps to get to a safe resolution."

 

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