Deputy Jamey Carter and Deputy Jason Simpkins
The Westside Explorer's Club met Thursday morning and were greeted by Craighead County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team, comprised of Deputy Jamey Carter and Deputy Jason Simpkins. The CNT is part of the SWAT Team. Deputy Carter and Deputy Simpkins have nearly a decade of experience each, and approximately 25 successful negotiations combined. This team is called in when there is a stand-off, hostage situation, or a barricaded subject, to name a few examples. The CNT is there to help the person involved by not just talking to them, but also listening to them, and helping all involved end the situation safely. Deputy Carter described negotiations like see saws, with emotions on one end and the ability to think on the other. A see saw can't have both ends high in the air at one time. One has to be lower than the other for the see saw to work. People are the same way. If emotions are high, thought processes are not working. It is the job of the negotiators to bring the raised emotions to a level that allows thoughts to start working as they should. Deputy Carter also said the hardest part of negotiations is not getting caught up in the scene. As a negotiator, you build a rapport with the individual, and it's tough to not get involved emotionally. Deputy Simpkins added how emotionally draining these scenes can be. A negotiation can last 15 minutes or 3 hours, and during that time, the team member has to stay with the individual throughout. These two are an integral part of the SWAT team and a valuable asset to the CCSO.