Hundreds of crisis negotiators gather in Moline to learn new tactics

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MOLINE, Illinois -- Officers from across the country came to Moline, Illinois to improve their skills as crisis negotiators.

In mid-April, 2018, the Illinois Crisis Negotiators Association (ICNA) held their yearly conference, welcoming around 250 officers to the TaxSlayer Center.

During their multi-day conference, crisis negotiators come together and learn from others about what has and has not worked for them.

"We have instructors coming in from all over the country and teaching us through past experience and situations they've been involved with," said Lt. Pedro Valladares with the Moline Police Department.

One of the workshops during the conference is about negotiating with people from different generations.

"We would negotiate differently with a senior citizen, someone from my generation, or a teenager because the mindsets are so different," said the president of the ICNA, Doug Burgess. Specifically with the younger generations coming into the mix, officers have been inspired to learn more social media skills.

"We’ve rehearsed and practiced it and trained on communicating with people through text and social networking," he said.

Officer Kathy Martin from the Springfield, Illinois Police Department said her team has been learning new ways of communication as well.

"We have to be as creative as we can," said Martin.  "Whether that’s through apps, actual texting phone to phone or calling or whatever means we can."

The 2018 conference is the highest attended in the event's history.

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