How is our society doing at maintaining a real partnership between the police and the public? If you're thinking "not that well", or worse, this book may be a welcome surprise. The Other Side of the Door is an account of one extraordinary experiment by a remarkable group, jointly headed by theater artist Rachel Parish and by Jack Cambria, the longtime (2001-2015) commander of the New York Police Department's elite Hostage Negotiation Team. The group also included law enforcement professionals and students, five poets, an emergency medicine physician, conflict management experts, a sociologist and two psychologists.
With this unprecedented combination of viewpoints and talents the group set out to create a new approach to police training for emotional competence. They learned as much from what did not work as from what did. Both the successes and the failures are documented in this groundbreaking book. The results suggest some new possibilities for reconciling our police forces and the people they must serve.
Student Reactions to the Experimental Course
In contrast to today's charged environment, The Other Side of the Door offers a shining example of how policing should be done: with insight, empathy and compassion. This book offers more than a vision: it provides specific examples borne from years of on-the-job experience in NYC's challenging hostage negotiation environment, where applying these principles saved lives. Indeed, the applications of this book and course go beyond policing. It is highly recommended reading for anyone with authority and discretion about how to conduct themselves with staff or customers, as well as members of a greater community. I very much appreciated being part of this extraordinary project.Alex Yaroslavsky
As an officer on the streets of New York City you have to be ready for anything. This course and its knowledge adds more tools to my tool box for the sometimes not so nice Streets of NYC.Rich Hornberger
I was thrilled to be able to take part in this project... After graduating from John Jay, I have been able to use the lessons (from) this project in not only my personal, but also professional life. The project has helped me to reframe my perception of situations which I encounter, looking at the entirety of the situation rather than only at what is right in front of me. Something as simple as taking a step back and observing one's surroundings (what you hear, smell, and see) outside of the immediate situation can provide information which might shape the way I react to a situation... I am certain that the skills I learned during this project... created a fantastic base for me to build upon.Alex H. Levitz
It was an honor to be in the Experimental Course concerning negotiation and mood control. As a police officer I need to face different people every day-colleagues, suspects and the many people who need our help. Sometimes it's really stressful and I am on the edge of losing my temper. At that moment, your words in that wonderful course, and the small cards you gave me-which l keep on my desk-remind me to control myself and put my feet into the other's shoes. It really works and always leads to a good result. (The workshop) showed me not only the skills of negotiation and mood control, but the way and attitude I should have in life, to others and to myself.ZHOU Qinggang, Superintendent of Police, Yunnan Public Security Department, China.