Pictured left to right, top row:
Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf, Cpl. Keith Jackson, Dale Smith, Lt. Rusty Roberts

Second row:
Dep. Mark Wilder, Lt. Cynthia Gibson

Third row:
Cpl. Deb Bell, Sgt. Kannika Nimithkoune, Dep. Ken Roberts, Lt. Dave Disano

When there is a chance to talk someone back from a bad place, this is the team you want on the scene.

Pinellas Negotiator Response Team Places 1st At Bay Area Negotiator’s Group Challenge.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Negotiator Response Team competed against other local bay area law enforcement agencies and placed 1st overall at the Bay Area Negotiator’s Group Conference and Challenge.

The competition was sponsored by the Bay Area Negotiator’s Group, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators.

The conference and competition was an opportunity for Crisis Negotiation Teams from throughout the State of Florida to experience both a seminar and hands-on application of crisis negotiation skills. On day one, participants attended a series of presentations relative to today’s issues in crisis negotiation. Day two, a total of nine crisis negotiation teams participated in a scenarios driven competition.

During the competition, each team was given a scenario where they had to negotiate out of a high risk situation and successfully coordinate a peaceful surrender. The teams were judged on categories including active listening skills, team member assignments, determining risk assessment factors, and usage of intel received from the role player. The scenario lasted over 5 hours.

This competition provided a unique opportunity for crisis negotiator teams to experience a realistic scenario with life-like challenges and role players. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Negotiator Response Team utilized their experience and training to take 1st place overall in this competition and is the only local team to have placed all four years.