Fort Wayne Police and FBI conduct hostage negotiation training

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): There were a couple tense standoffs in Fort Wayne on Friday morning — but it was all planned.

FBI agents, Fort Wayne Police officers and other officers from across the area were at Parkview’s Mirro Center this week for hostage negotiation training.

For an entire week, the officers have been learning how to handle hostage situations and, on Friday, they put their knowledge to the test.

They were divided into five different teams and went through five different hostage situations. Each situation lasted an hour.

In one room, the officers would be negotiating with a suspect while across the hall, the suspects talked to the officers.

Owner of Preferred Auto, Jay Leonard, worked as a suspect. He came into the training not knowing what he would be doing and was given a scenario. His son, Jake, worked with him. In his scenario Jay was an angry father and Jake was his 9-year-old son.

He said the teams were improving and said by the fifth session “they will have it figured out.”

“It gives me peace of mind,” Jay said. “I mean it’s fantastic and to watch how hard they work and the dedication they have. These men and women, they are unbelievable.”

The Chief Police for Parkview Health Tom Rhoades said Parkview hosted the training because it’s important training to have. He also said the communication skills the officers learned during the training will prove very helpful.

(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)

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