Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

Sept. 24, 2010

Contact: Christian Hoffman, Special Agent, PIO
Office: (818) 265-2507
Cell: (213) 216-3622

ATF Trains U.S. And Mexico Crisis Negotiators

LOS ANGELES — Today 20 special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and six Mexican federal police officers, (Grupo Operaciones Especiales) graduated from the ATF Basic Crisis Negotiator’s School.

The ATF Los Angeles Field Division hosted the intense two-week school which was taught by members of the ATF Special Response Team (SRT) Crisis Negotiator unit and professionals from the psychology field. The course taught participants a working knowledge of negotiations and provided the tools necessary to work through crisis situations to include active listening, intervention, hostage rescue, crisis intervention, and use of crisis negotiation equipment.

Any assistance we can provide our law enforcement partners in Mexico in combating violence in their country benefits the people of the United States, said John A. Torres, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division. As part of ATF’s Project Gunrunner contributions within the Merida Initiative, this training will provide another option to the Mexican Police when dealing with violent encounters within their country and hopefully save lives.

The Merida Initiative is a multi-discipline U.S. effort aimed at reducing the violence and criminal activity related to the Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

The ATF special agents who participated in the training will return to one of the ATF SRTs based in Los Angeles, Virginia, Miami, Detroit, or Dallas. The crisis negotiators and other tactical members of the SRT are deployed nationally as ATF pursues the most violent criminals during high risk warrants and barricaded subject situations.