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FWPD negotiator explains how they respond to crisis situations

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - On Saturday, a teenager threatening to hurt himself resulted in a large police response, bringing the Fort Wayne International Airport to a halt for hours.

The teenager ultimately died from suicide in the parking lot.

Fort Wayne Police Department crisis negotiators said this wasn't the outcome they wanted, but were prepared for nonetheless.

Police negotiators have to work as a team to protect the subject in crisis, the public, and themselves.

Under a high-stakes situation, negotiators say they carefully work to calm and coerce.

"For us as negotiators, we kind of have to reflect on ourselves what it's like to connect with somebody under stress so we're making a bond or relationship in a short amount of time. And that's our goal, because if we establish some sort of relationship or trust, then we might have some influence on that decision point that someone makes in crisis," Lt. Jonathan Bowers of the FWPD said.

Bowers said in a situation like at the airport this weekend, officers must act strategically, but ultimately, it's about transparency, honesty and listening.

If you or a loved one need help, there are places to call.

You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

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