The Command Post Volume 39 - Spring Edition

Featuring articles from Det. Jeff Thompson, Ph.D, Scott Green of Guelph Police Service, and more.

Published on Mar 20, 2017

Welcome to the Spring 2017 edition of the Command Post!

I trust you have all made the most out of the winter season either outdoors or travelling own south. Spring has arrived by calendar date only; the weather has been very seasonal this spring, at least in the Greater Toronto Area. It will not be too long and both my motorcycle and boat will be full operation.

I had the pleasure of presenting the Crisis Negotiators Course to the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force in February. It was somewhat humbling to be with such experienced and professional tactical officers. I did my basic tactical officers course with the ETF back in the day and it was great to be back with such an accomplished and modest group. The course went very well and they received a Ministry Accredited Certification. Highlights included Dr. Peter Collins lecturing on mental health and the challenges of helping those in crisis. Prior to his lecture, A/Supt. Tim Crone and Sgt. Mike Forestell presented Dr. Collins with his name tags for his call-out jacket. Dr. Collins has been assisting the ETF for many years and has an exceptional relationship with them, which should be considered a working model for other police services. More information to follow on Dr. Collins and his tremendous contribution to assisting police services with the demanding challenges of helping people in crisis that are suffering from a mental illness.

CCII continues to make changes to our courses to bring current case studies to review and enhance our methods of instruction. Detective Kate Harrison assisted in instructing at the ETF course. Kate is a member of the Durham Regional Police Service, with 17 current years as a Crisis Negotiator. Kate discussed some of her personal challenges as a crisis negotiator and the negotiating strategies and techniques that worked well and others that did not. As you know, Crisis Negotiation is not an applied science, but the ability and skill to demonstrate how to apply the fundamentals of crisis negotiations as well as to provide the best practices and directives to meet the operational objectives within the overall mission statement. Kate’s experience, wit, and communication style added great value to the course.

Also, during the winter I had the pleasure of providing the two-day Crisis Negotiators Introduction Course to the students at Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology, for the fall, winter, and spring semesters. The course was opened to the public, which gave the chance to meet Dr. Howard Thaw a business consultant and negotiator, as well as members from smaller police services and private security. All of whom found the course to be beneficial.

Other CCII training courses in recent months were the Major Incident Commanders Course hosted by the Chatham-Kent Police Service and the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Each service received the Ministry Accreditation Certificate. And in keeping with current case studies and enhancing method of instruction, CCII changed the schedule to allow for a full day for the scenario based training exercise, with a general debrief and an individual critique. Other enhancements to the course is a written test on day three, with a 75% pass required.

I am aware of the committee for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, task to review and revise the current (and dated) course training standards relating to Major Incident Command and Crisis Negotiations for the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The committee is comprised of knowledgeable and experienced Incident Commanders representing various police services throughout the province. I support their recommendations as the Ministry moves forward in providing current training standards in order to meet the accreditation standards and certificate. CCII has been a strong advocate of consistent training standards, which includes similar terminology, tactics and procedures. With the number of critical incident calls relating to hostage, barricaded, suicidal and mental illness becoming more protracted, significant pressure has been placed on the Incident Commander to reach out to neighbouring police services to assist in the lengthy and complex calls. Furthermore, police services are sharing training exercises with their partners to ensure terminology, tactics and procedures are consistent and can provide the best for community safety and their member’s safety and well-being.

Canadian Critical Incident Inc. (CCII) is very excited to announce this year’s Fall Seminar will be held November 13-15, 2017 at the Double Tree Fallsview Resort, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Building on the tremendous success of last year’s seminar, CCII is excited to work with the Double Tree Staff in providing a great venue for the annual CCII Fall Seminar. The cost remains the same as last few years, $400.00 (includes HST). Registration includes a full buffet lunch, snacks and beverages as well as a hospitality night on Sunday November 12, 2017. The Fall Seminar will continue to provide current and compelling case studies and lectures, relating to crisis negotiations, incident command and tactics for both police and corrections, with an emphasis on Canadian content. This year CCII will be reaching out to its good friend and neighbor, the New York Association of Hostage Negotiators, to assist in providing dynamic guest speakers in addition to quality Canadian case studies and content. Please go to the CCII website for registration and details. I Hope to see you there!

The 2016 CCII Fall Seminar was a great success, which was directly attributed to the equality of guest speakers and case studies. I am very grateful for guest speakers that provided compelling and current case studies in a very professional and sometimes humorous way. At the end of the day it’s about the case studies and guest speakers that add true meaning and value to the seminar. Additionally making the seminar a success, was partnering with Sam Farina, President of the New York Association of Hostage Negotiators (NYAHN). Sam Farina and I share the same beliefs and values relating to training and continuing education in the challenging and demanding area of crisis negotiations and critical incident command, which face both Canadian and American Law Enforcement equally.

During the CCII Fall Seminar, I was very pleased to present the “General Lewis MacKenzie Leadership Award”, for outstanding leadership during a critical incident involving a barricaded, hostage or suicidal event. This prestigious award was presented to S/Sgt. Paul Crowe of the Guelph Police Service, by last year’s recipient, S/Sgt. Dean Streefkerk. S/Sgt. Crowe’s lengthy experience with the Guelph P.S Tactical Response Unit, Incident Command and his commitment to training at both the Guelph P.S and members of the Ontario Tactical Advisory Board made him the candidate for this prestigious award.

The seminar would not have been a tremendous success, without the great efforts from the team members Sam Farina, Wayne Genders, Dean Streefkerk, Barry Hughes and the guest speakers, vendors and Double Tree Hilton Resort staff. And most importantly those who attended the seminar. The opportunity to learn from each other’s experience as crisis negotiators or incident commanders and network is important for your professional development. The 2016 CCII Fall Seminar attracted police and correctional officers throughout the province of Ontario, from Windsor to Kenora, including members of the RCMP, Saskatoon, Calgary Police Services, as well as police officers from California and New York states.

Another great training and learning opportunity for Crisis Negotiators and Incident Commanders, both police and corrections, is the annual New York Association of Hostage Negotiators (NYAHN) annual conference. This will be their 12th year in providing quality and current case studies relating the many challenges crisis negotiators and incident commanders’ face. The agenda includes guest speakers and current and compelling case studies from New York P.D, Dallas P.D, Fort Wayne P.D, L.A County Sheriff’s Ofce and the OPP. It will be held at the Downtown Rochester Holiday Inn Hotel, 70 State St., Rochester NY from May 24 to 26, 2017. To register go to I hope to see you there!

As mentioned CCII continues to make changes to our courses to bring current case studies to review and enhance our methods of instruction. With that in mind CCII is pleased to announce, that Amy Meeks will be co-instructing the CCII Scribe Course, which will be hosted by the Greater Sudbury Police Service, June 5 to 7, 2017. Amy is the Communication Trainer for the Waterloo Regional Police Service and a current Scribe with 14 years’ experience. She has received quality training from institutions such as the Association of Public–Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and certificates in communication software applications to name a few. Amy brings current technology and techniques to the important and challenging duties of the Scribe, which is an important element of the Incident Command Triangle.

In closing, I want to thank Det. Jeff Thompson, Ph.D of the NYPD and Insp. Scott Green of the GPS for their contribution towards this issue of the Command Post. The summer/fall issue of the Command Post is in the works and will be issued in September. If you have any interesting training experiences or call outs, please email or call me.

Have a great summer and be safe!

Tom Hart,



Volume 39

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