CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. – The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office has new equipment that could be the difference-maker for a successful negotiation.
“It can be a direct line between us and the person that’s having a crisis situation,” said Lieutenant J.J. Rater.
He says the agency recently bought the $30,000 technology because they’re seeing a nationwide trend in their own backyard.
“Over the last few years, we’ve definitely seen an increase in crisis situations here in Campbell County,” said Rater.
“We’re having more crisis situations than we’ve ever had in the past,” said Cindy Caldwell, a retired captain with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office.
Caldwell spent three decades with the sheriff’s office, most of that time as one of the agency’s only two crisis negotiators.
“The only equipment I had [at the time] was my cellphone, a notepad and an ink pen,” said Caldwell.
She’s now working part-time to help with the equipment and lead the agency’s new, six-member team.
The sheriff’s office formed the group earlier this year, and they’re going through monthly training to learn best practices for dealing with barricaded individuals or hostage situations.
“The bottom line is, our end goal is that we’re going to have a peaceful resolution to a situation that has the potential to become volatile,” said Caldwell.