Seminar Overviews

Presenter: Dan Field, IDOC Crisis Negotiations Team Leader (ret.)

On May 11, 2006, Illinois Department of Corrections Crisis Response Team Negotiators Dan Field and John MacIntosh responded to the State’s Maximum Security Psychiatric wing where a convicted serial rapist was holding his female mental health therapist hostage by knife point during a 26-hour standoff. The inmate is serving 60 years for a series of rape convictions. He forcefully abducted the victim and barricaded them both in a storage closet within the actual psychiatric housing unit wing. Unique issues arose as the offenders remained in the unit while face-to-face negotiations were on going. The presentation takes attendees through the perspective of a hostage negotiator’s face-to-face barricade challenges, including personal emotions from initial call out and dispatch to and after a major crisis incident. Command directives including incident command post issues, initial administrative conflicts and the after-action reviews are examined as well. Dan shares the IDOC’s Crisis response team structure, protocol for emergency response within the states geographically vast correctional system, as well as unique tactical issues and negotiations strategies that came to bear while working to resolve this critical incident.

Presenter: Dan Field is now retired from the Illinois Department of Corrections where he served as the 26-man Statewide Crisis Negotiations Response Team Leader. He began his career as a correctional officer and served in that capacity for 10 years, later promoting to Correctional Counselor, Casework Supervisor and Clinical Services Supervisor. He has been with the Illinois Department of Corrections for over 27 years and a crisis negotiator since 1995. Mr. Field’s correctional experiences have included first responder as an officer during the 1992 Shawnee Correctional Center Riot that required retaking the barricaded unit with a shotgun squad, first responder to an escape that included a high speed chase ending in the fleeing armed inmates driving off a 50 foot bluff into the Ohio River bottoms in a stolen truck, serving as the primary negotiator during the 2006 Dixon Hostage incident and in 2009 as the Southern Team leader during a hostage incident that required lethal use of force at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center involving the facilities librarian. He received FBI crisis negotiations training in 1996 and has provided case study since then for the Bureau and additional Classes and Conference seminars throughout the US and Canada. Most recently, Field has been developing training material and Crisis Negotiators scenario evaluation forms for role players to use as well as consulting for Corrections specific Crisis negotiator training. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Illinois University.


Presenter: Stephen Soha

With more than three million veterans returning from combat, first responders encounter veterans in crisis every day. These interactions frequently lead to use-of-force and deadly force situations. This presentation will enable the student to identify, effectively communicate with, and successfully resolve these encounters.

Presenter: Stephen Soha is a recently retired US Marine Master Gunnery Sgt, (E9), Reservist with 30 years of military tactical experience, including active duty combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. His final 4-year active duty tour of duty consisted of assisting returning wounded, ill, and injured combat veterans in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Stephen Soha is also a recently retired Phoenix police lieutenant with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience which began in New Jersey in 1980.


Presenter: John Rowell

In April 2013, a male subject called 911 and requested medical assistance. The Gwinnett County Fire Department responded and the personnel were taken hostage by the armed subject. The subject made several demands, some of which were met. Ultimately the incident was resolved tactically, resulting in one SWAT officer being shot and the subject being killed.

Presenter: Corporal John Rowell has been with the Gwinnett County Police Department since 2005.  During that time he has worked in the Uniform Division, Criminal Investigation Division and is currently assigned to the Training Section as a recruit instructor.  Corporal Rowell joined the Crisis Negotiation Team in 2009 and had been the primary negotiator on dozens of calls.


Presenters: Dan Pacholke and Devon Schrum

This two-hour presentation debriefs a hostage-taking/escape attempt that occurred June 29, 2011, and discusses the numerous lessons learned as well as steps taken to improve staff safety. Following two prison tragedies in 2011, a small task force was charged to make substantive changes for improving staff safety. The group tapped the expertise of 800+ first level supervisors and staff guiding structured conversations about their work and work places. In this series of Prison Safety Forums, supervisors discovered not just new ways of thinking about safety, but new ways to approach the work of corrections.

Presenters: Dan Pacholke has worked in the Washington Department of Corrections since 1982, holding every position from Correctional Officer to his current role as Deputy Secretary for the Department. Dan has served as the Superintendent for Cedar Creek and Stafford Creek Corrections Centers and the Monroe Correctional Complex. He is known for implementing innovative programs in staff education and training and for developing emergency response operations training academies; his statewide emergency response system is still used today. Dan’s leadership with the Sustainable Prisons Project and his partnerships with higher education have brought prisons into focus as major community resources. He is widely recognized for innovative prison change and for running safe, humane prisons. He continues to find meaningful ways for inmates to contribute to society and for prisons to be valued members of their communities.

Devon Schrum has worked in the Washington Department of Corrections since 1996. Beginning as support staff, Devon has been Corrections Officer, Sergeant, an Grievance Coordinator. Her experience includes work in multiple institutions (male and female) and at all security levels. She specializes in work with mentally ill and volatile inmates as well as hostage/crisis negotiation and has served on Crisis Negotiation Teams at Washington Corrections Center and the Washington Corrections Center for Women. She teaches the corrections block for the Negotiator Basic Academy offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Seattle Office) and has served two terms as President for the Western States Hostage Negotiators’ Association. As Director of Security – Prisons Division, Devon co-chairs the Statewide Security Advisory Committee. She has been central to development of safety measures and policies implemented since 2011 as well as design implementation of the Prison Safety forums, staff accountability systems and Place Safety Musters. Dan and Devon, alongside Cheryl and Philip Young, co-authored Keeping Prisons Safe (2014).


Presenter: Gary McDougall

In the field of crisis negotiations, we are often tasked with crisis intervention in relation to a suicidal subject. While the proven skills we employ in other negotiation arenas will serve us well in these situations, there are strategies unique to the suicidal subject that are worthy of discussion. In this presentation, we will examine the incident assessment process as well as a number of predictable patterns that often arise in these scenarios. These patterns include imitation of method, location and timing of the suicidal behaviour. In addition, we will look at the relationship that sometimes occurs between suicidal and homicidal ideology.

This presentation also contains an exploration of the value and risks associated with “grabbing the potential jumper” and other situations in which the negotiator takes unilateral action. Additionally, we will discuss strategies for managing external influences and ways in which the Negotiation Team can create circumstances to allow the subject to “surrender” with dignity and while saving face.

Presenter: Gary McDougall is a retired police officer who served with the Calgary Police Service for 25 years. The last eight years of his career, Gary was a member of the Hostage/Barricaded Negotiation Team. He served as both a team leader and training coordinator for the Calgary Hostage Negotiation team and upon retiring in 2006, Gary formed a company called Conflict Solutions. He currently delivers training in a number of disciplines which include effective negotiation skills, conflict management, dealing with difficult clients, ethics in the workplace and workplace violence issues. Gary is both a graduate of the FBI Hostage Negotiators Training School and has also served as an Instructor at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.


Presenter: Susan Lewis Simons, M.S., B.C.E.T.S., D.A.A.E.T.S.

Stress and resilience are not academic topics or luxuries, they are essential to the physical and mental health of individuals, as well as to optimum job functioning. Warrior Survival is a resiliency course. The objective is to adopt a proactive approach to stress management and resiliency through education, training, identification and discussion of common and unique stressors in the ever changing field of tactical operations and crisis negotiations, and the ways in which the individual, the family, the organization and the public are affected. In doing so, there should be a reduction in the harmful side effects which include attrition, unnecessary sick leave, low morale, substance abuse, liability, divorce, suicide and other physical and financial manifestations which are debilitating to the individual, the family and the organization.

Presenter: Susan Lewis Simons, M.S., B.C.E.T.S., D.A.A.E.T.S. is one of the nation’s leading experts in the specialized field of Stress Management in public safety/emergency services and aviation. She provides training seminars and programs for various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies focusing on stress management, critical incident response/reactions and the impact of this lifestyle on the family. She has provided training for the United States Air Force Europe, served as a Consulting Clinician in New York City with the NYPD, post September 11 and a consultant to the U S Air Force 56th Security Forces Squadron Luke AFB, AZ and was a member of the Board of Directors of Hostage Negotiators of America. Simons has been a guest instructor for many prestigious organizations, including The Federal Bureau of Investigation, various FBINAA groups, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, SWAT Roundup and the International Aviation Security Academy and Conference to name a few. Susan is a Train the Trainer for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.  Lt Col. Dave Grossman, describes Simons as a national treasure and a fellow warrior-healer who he is proud and honored to call a friend and a colleague.

Simons is also the President/Founder of Under The Shield, Inc., a non-profit business providing stress coaching, critical incident response and other support services to public safety and emergency services personnel, military personnel and their families around the world.


Presenter: Corporal Josh McCauley

In June 2011, Randy McPeak contacted a close friend and advised he had just shot his girlfriend. Law enforcement responded and found McPeak barricaded in a residence with the alleged victim still inside. A 7-hour negotiation followed using cell phones, face-to-face and loud speakers. Negotiators had to overcome several setbacks including a tactical maneuver that resulted in shots being fired. Numerous audio/video segments assist in recreating the incident.

Presenter: Corporal Josh McCauley began in law enforcement in 2004. He worked patrol from 2004-2007 when he joined the Washington County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit. He worked his K-9 on the road and also on a Criminal Interdiction Unit until 2013 when his partner was retired and he joined the Criminal Investigation Unit as a detective. In 2014, McCauley was promoted to the rank of Corporal and transported back to road patrol. He currently serves in that capacity. He has been a Crisis Negotiator since 2010. The incident he is presenting was his first time as primary negotiator on a critical incident.




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