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Field Operations Bureau
Crisis Negotiation Unit

CNU Patch

Mission Statement

Committed to preserving life and resolving critical incidents through verbal techniques, while avoiding unnecessary risks and injuries to citizens, law enforcement personnel and suspects.

The Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU) was originally formed as a support section of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit. The first negotiators cross-trained with members of the SWAT Unit until March of 2003 when the Crisis Negotiation Unit became a separate unit as this became the model for many units across the country. The Crisis Negotiation Unit often works together with the SWAT Unit to resolve many different types of conflict.

The New Hampshire State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit is used to diffuse potentially life-threatening situations through the use of proven verbal crisis management techniques. Unit members are geographically located throughout the state to allow for a quick response to situations no matter where they occur. The Crisis Negotiation Unit can be activated without having to activate the SWAT Unit and can be used to assist agencies in many types of crisis incidents where specialized training is needed.

Since its inception, the Crisis Negotiation Unit has responded to well over 100 calls for service that have ranged from hostage situations to subjects who are suicidal and barricaded. Several of those calls have resulted in national media coverage, to include the hostage taking at the Hillary Clinton Campaign Office in Rochester and the standoff and capture of a triple homicide suspect who was also the target of the state’s first AMBER alert in Gilsum. As a result of the success of the CNU, members have traveled and presented call reviews and training for numerous organizations across the country.

NH CNU Members
Members of the NH State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit
From left: Sergeant Joseph Ebert, Trooper Aaron Richards, Sergeant James Fogarty, TFC Jonathan Stephens
Crisis Negotiation Unit members
Crisis Negotation Unit members during an active negotiation.

Unit members have attended training heavily weighted in scenario-based exercises. To ensure that the training is as realistic as possible, civilian actors and members of other negotiation units have participated.  

In 2012, the State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit accepted the responsibility of being the primary negotiation unit for the prison system of New Hampshire. As a result, the State Police CNU trains regularly with prison liaisons on prison-related scenarios.

The Crisis Negotiation Unit responded to 10 calls for service in 2013. The nature of the calls ranged from a suicidal subject threatening to jump from a bridge to an armed barricaded suspect who had taken a hostage. Highlights during 2013 included peacefully negotiating the end of a hostage situation with a heavily armed suspect in Middleton and peacefully negotiating the end to a standoff with an armed individual in Atkinson. The unit also took great pride in responding to Watertown, Massachusetts to assist in door-to-door searches for a suspect wanted in the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon.

NHSP and MESP CNU Members
Crisis negotiation joint training with Maine State Police counterparts.
Members of the CNU and the NH State Prison Liaisons.
Members of the CNU and the NH State Prison Liaisons.
Crisis Negotiation Unit members
Crisis Negotiation Unit members during an active negotiation.








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