Blue Line


February 4, 2013  By Tom Hart

by Tom Hart

Canadian Critical Incident Inc. (CCII) has trained and qualified crisis negotiators and incident commanders for the last 17 years. Instructors deliver current, comprehensive courses and recognize the need to maintain continuous training in this demanding and challenging area of police work.

CCII has the unique privilege of an advisory board comprised of Dr. Peter Collins, forensic psychiatrist with the OPP Criminal Behaviour Analysis Unit, Dr. Mini Mamak, senior psychologist, St. Joseph’s Healthcare (Hamilton) forensic service and former Ontario deputy regional coroner Dr. Jim Cairns, a forensic medicine expert who has conducted numerous inquests.

The board also includes current police negotiators, incident commanders, trainers and leaders in incident command who guide and assist in course development and training standards.


CCII has recently developed a dynamic and informative eight hour workshop, It was created to help in dealing with challenging, demanding and potentially violent interactions with persons suffering from a mental illness or who are in a state of crisis.

Ontario deputy coroner Dr. Bert Lauwer’s inquest, SIU investigations and the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s March 2012 study have all emphasized the need for first responder training in this area.

Developing the ability to recognize and understand common mental illnesses, increase situational awareness, expand defusing techniques and enhance active listening skills and tactical communications will significantly strengthen the ability to resolve a crisis situation with minimal use of force.

This workshop will help reduce officer injury and promote public safety and police accountability when dealing with people in a state of crisis. This can be achieved by the following learning objectives, which include a blend of crisis negotiations and intervention techniques:

• Basic terminology and understanding common mental illnesses

• Promoting officer safety and situational awareness

• Defusing and de-escalating communication techniques

• Active listening skills

• Creating dialogue techniques

• Basic crisis negotiation techniques to communicate with a suspect/subject threatening to harm themselves or others

• Basic crisis intervention techniques and emergency psychological care to assist a person in a crisis situation

This workshop would be a great asset for front line officers, communicators, emergency responders and care workers, usually the first point of contact for a person in a state of agitated crisis. The workshop will include audio and video training aids and a blend of academic studies and terminology delivered by an instructor with 20 years of crisis negotiation experience.


Former detective Tom Hart retired from the Durham Regional Police Service in April 2012 and immediately became president of CCII. A qualified crisis negotiator for more than 20 years, he is currently an executive with the Durham Regional Critical Incident Stress Support Team. Visit to register for his course or contact him at for more information.

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