Dr. David Schroeder

"Hostage Situations in New York City"
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


There exists a dearth of empirical research on hostage negotiation techniques and tactics and/or outcomes and what does exist seems to be case specific[1] or focus on outcomes of training programs[2]. There are however many texts on the subject of hostage and crisis negotiations that provide information based on the experiences of the author[3].

However, what seems woefully absent from the literature is an evidence-based assessment of outcomes within a large database of hostage or barricade situations. As such, this paper addresses this void in the literature by examining situational outcomes of over 1400 hostage/barricade situations handled by the NYPD between the years 2003 and 2010. Specifically, situations resulting in negative outcomes – death or injury to either the hostage(s) or the hostage taker – will be examined in relation to other demographics (e.g. race, gender, and age of offender, time and day of week, time of year (season), weapon used, relationship between victim and offender, number of hostages, and type of location (public or private residence).

Further, an analysis of hostage taking as a form of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) will evince intervening factors that may serve to instruct law enforcement in dealing with these volatile situations in the most efficacious manner.


[1] As in the context of domestic violence – Van Hasselt, V., Flood, J., Romano, S., Vecchi, G., Fabrique, N., & Dalfonzo, V. (2005). Hostage-taking in the context of domestic violence: Some case examples. Journal of Family Violence, 20(1), 21-27


[2] For a good example see Van Hasselt, V., Baker, M., Romano, S., Schlessinger, K. & et al. (2006). Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation Training: A Preliminary Evaluation of Program Efficacy. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 33(1), 56-69.


[3] For two good examples see Lancely, F. J., (2003) On-Scene Guide for Crisis Negotiators, CRC Press; Boca Raton, FL. Print ISBN: 978-0-8493-1441-4 and/or Strentz, T. (2006) Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation, CRC Press; Boca Raton, FL. Print ISBN: 978-0-8493-3997-4. BIBIO

Biographical Information

David Schroeder, Ph.D.., is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of New Haven. Dr. Schroeder is also involved at the New York Tolerance Center as a facilitator, where he evokes conversations among law enforcement professionals regarding issues of diversity and pluralism among the public they serve.

Dr. Schroeder began his career as a private investigator (civil and criminal) in Orange County, California, where he specialized in civil rights violations and Death Penalty defense work. Dr. Schroeder also served as an investigator for the Alternate Defender’s Office, specializing in homicide investigations.

Dr. Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California (Social Ecology), a Master of Arts from University of Hull, United Kingdom (Criminology), and a Master of Philosophy (Criminal Justice) and a Ph.D. (Criminal Justice) from the CUNY-Graduate School through John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Professor Schroeder's research interests include homicide investigation, the utility of forensic evidence (most notably DNA), aberrant/episodic homicide, defense investigation, tolerance issues in law enforcement and, most recently hostage negotiations. Dr. Schroeder has published in the Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies and in Police Quarterly.


Dr. Schroeder’s web site.