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COME OUT NOW! Michigan Association of Hostage Negotiators Meeting Here

October 26, 2013       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Hostage taking is not as rare as you might think - thus creating the need for at least 140 hostage negotiators in Michigan.

NEWS REPORT 13 MAY 2013: "A man with an explosive device is holding hostages inside Westland City Hall, according to CBS Detroit. Police have locked-down a section of Westland, Michigan near Detroit as the bomb squad has been called in to handle a developing situation at the town's city hall. The Michigan State Police bomb squad has been called to the scene, reported WJBK Monday afternoon, and at least two schools in the area have been placed on precautionary lockdown. Reportedly, a man entered Westland City Hall with explosives, but the police have declined to comment further other than telling local media there's 'a situation.'"

The DoubleTree Hotel - Bay City Riverfront was in lockdown for a couple of days last week.

Not really, but with 140 hostage negotiators there for the state convention of the Michigan Association of Hostage Negotiators (MAHN), the troops were on hand to make it happen if need be.

Ralph Selaggi, formerly of the Detroit Police Department and the Macomb County Sheriff's Department, told this reporter of some of his exploits through the years.

Let's just say: don't go there, at least without experience, training, equipment, backup, etc.

Hostage taking is not as rare as you might think, says Selaggi, thus creating the need for at least 140 hostage negotiators in Michigan.

Because of the skill and training of the hostage negotiators, the situation in Westland was defused within a few hours with no injuries or loss of life.

The same day, 13 May, Beth Fisher of WWJ Radio reported on another incident: "A hostage situation that forced the evacuation of some Wayne residents Monday has ended peacefully.

"Wayne police said a person was being held hostage at an apartment on Hannan Road north of Michigan Ave. at about 8:30 a.m. Police established a perimeter around the building and evacuated neighbors.

"There was also a precautionary lockdown at nearby Winter-Walker Elementary School that lasted only about an hour.

"Police said the victim managed to escape from the apartment and ran to officers.

"The suspect came out onto the porch, but ran back into the apartment after seeing police. Police said they were able to take the suspect into custody 'without incident,' shortly after 11 a.m."

Selaggi noted these all too frequent incidents can escalate into loss of life and serious costs of enforcement without trained hostage negotiators who are members of the MAHN.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
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