This week Anna Maria College was proud to host criminal justice professionals throughout the region for the Northeast Negotiator’s Challenge, the first of its kind in New England.  

The two-day competition and training comprised 95 participants from Boston PD, Worcester PD, Pawtucket PD, Massachusetts Department of Corrections, SEACOAST (a Southern NH Regional Team of various departments), and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. Federal agents from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire also attended.  

Originating at Texas State University, the Challenge brings together law enforcement who are given a realistic scenario where they must work a team to negotiate and bring the case to a peaceful resolution. Anna Maria College and the Worcester Police Department sponsored the training, which was then coordinated and led by Crisis Systems Management, LLC (CSM).  

During the training, role-players pretended to be an 80-year-old mass shooter who was a risk to public safety. Each negotiation team had to make contact and use collected intelligence and communication skills to safely apprehend the shooter while preventing colleterial damage to others. Responding with real-time strategies and dealing with unexpected obstacles, the training was at times intense but resulting in teams learning from one another as well from CSM’s instructors who included retired FBI agents and law enforcement professionals who had experienced negotiation situations in real life.  

“Although trophies are awarded to teams, the “competition” is simply a training opportunity for participants to learn from,” said Dr. John Colautti, Director of Criminal Justice at Anna Maria, “Additionally, of great value are for teams to experience problem-solving approached in unique ways.  Competition scenarios are designed and facilitated by nationally recognized trainers to maximize the participants’ training benefit.” 

The winners of the Northeast Negotiator’s Challenge were: 

1st Place – Seacoast NH Regional Team 

2nd Place – Boston PD – Team 1 

3rd Place – MA Dept. Of Corrections  

The training was such a success that next year’s challenge has already been booked at Anna Maria College for June 10, 2025. 

“Anna Maria is proud to support public safety professionals as they continue to work to improve the field of law enforcement. Practice and learning are not confined to the students in our classrooms but involve working with community partners to advance public safety and professionalism,” Colautti said.