The mission of HNT is to establish an ongoing dialog and rapport with people involved in a crisis situation. HNT gathers information on the people involved, compiles psychological profiles, interviews witnesses and provides intelligence analysis. Collectively this information helps the negotiator to successfully resolve a potentially dangerous situation.
The team currently consists of a Commander and 15 members. Team members have received specialized training from the FBI, the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, and the Institute of Police Technology and Management. Several members hold a three-phase certification in Hostage Negotiations from the International Association of Hostage Negotiators. Additionally, members receive inner-departmental training and participate in scenarios with the SWAT team members. All members are skilled in the use of a crisis and rescue phone and other specialized equipment, along with expertise in communications, active listening skills and intelligence analysis.
HNT responds to many callouts each year and assists in the service of high-risk search warrants. The vast majority of incidents are resolved without further injury or violence. The SPD Hostage Negotiation Team also responds to assist the neighboring municipalities, other counties, and local agencies, such as Savannah State University, Georgia Southern University – Armstrong, and the Chatham County Board of Education. HNT works with SWAT in crisis situations to bring about a peaceful resolution in extremely volatile situations.
The Hostage Negotiation Team is commanded by:
Lt. Torrance Garvin