The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety maintains a team of specially-trained personnel to deal with incidents involving hostage or barricaded subjects. This team is known as the Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT) and has been in existence since 1997.
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety uses (CNT) to develop communication with barricaded subjects and to attempt a safe surrender without harm to any person. Deployment of (CNT) can be in response to an existing situation, or they can be deployed proactively if a situation of expected or potential high risk is anticipated.
(CNT) has both sworn and non-sworn members of the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety. Members of the team are trained to function in all relevant positions within the negotiations setting and train with members of the SWAT team. The intent of (CNT) is to be capable of functioning in the following areas:
Provide initial response to hostage situations or barricaded subjects
Accompany members of the Department of Public Safety SWAT Team during high risk warrant service; this may include accompanying outside tactical teams responding with or without the SWAT Team
Assist as necessary during dignitary and other special protection details and response to civil disorder incidents
Offer specialized training to other departmental personnel
The team is composed of a Public Safety Lieutenant who acts as the team commander, a senior negotiator who is the team leader, 2 police negotiators, and 1 scribe. The team members include Lieutenant Misty English, Sergeant Ed Burke, Detective Heather Yerrick, Officer Quail Hjelmeir, Community Service Officer Jennifer Souza, and Lead Dispatcher Dena Demello, Records Supervisor Terri McClure.
All team members, including the scribe, have received a minimum of a 40-hour basic hostage negotiators course. All sworn personnel have received an additional 40-hour advanced hostage negotiators course. All team members participate in ongoing training to continue to develop their skills.