TPD officers talk their way to victory

Published: Apr. 22, 2014 at 10:01 PM MST|Updated: May. 6, 2014 at 10:01 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Hostage negotiation isn't a game, but the Tucson Police is coming out as one of the winners when putting life-saving skills to the test in a competition.

TPD took third place at the second annual Arizona Tactical Officers Association (ATOA) Crisis Negotiations Competition on April 16. It's modeled after a national competition that takes place every year in Texas. Chandler Police took first place. Glendale PD was second.

The competition involved a seven hour long hostage scenario. Judges looked at how well the negotiating teams listened to and communicated with mock hostage takers. They also looked at how well the negotiating teams used intelligence coming in from police and how they worked as a team.

The Tucson Police Hostage Crisis Team sent two groups of people: one that helped with the competition and another who competed.

Officer Ari Sloane, Detective Jeff Van Norman, and Sergeant Corey Doggett assisted in the competition by working as evaluators and participant observers.

Officer Tom Rizzi, Officer Ray Vasquez, Detective Brett Barber, Detective Ericka Stropka, Sergeant Mike Garcia, and civilian volunteer Henry Zapia competed as the team representing the Hostage/Crisis Negotiations Team.

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