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James L. Greenstone

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About the Fort Worth Police Department

Fort Worth is located within North Central Texas.  In 1876, "Longhair" Jim Courtwright was given the difficult task of policing this roaring cowtown. With his reputation as a scout, a performer in Wild Bill Hickock's Wild West Show, and possessing a noted dexterity with firearms, Courtwright was able to give City Fathers what they wanted--a town where money and liquor flowed, but where bloodshed was cut to a trickle. It was under Courtwright that a "police force" was created--the authorization to fill two positions with men to assist him in his duties. A reputation went a long way in those days, and Courtwright's reputation with a gun was enough to make many men think twice before trying something that might draw the Marshal's attention. Reportedly as fast or faster than most famous gunmen of his time, Courtwright was able to reduce the number of killings in Fort Worth to less than at any time before or since”


Today the Fort Worth Police Department is broken down into six bureaus--Executive, North/West Field Operations, South/East Field Operations, Special Services, Operational Support, and Administrative Services--the work is then further split into more specialized units. Each unit within a division has a specialized area of expertise. The Fort Worth Police Department has 1,439 sworn personnel and approximately 362 non-sworn personnel. 


The patrol and general investigation functions of the Fort Worth Police Department are organized in four geographical divisions (north, south, etc.).  The specialized units of the Fort Worth Police Department include: K9, Mounted Patrol, Air Support, SWAT, Fugitive Unit, Gang Unit, School Security Initiative, Downtown Bike Patrol, and the Intelligence Unit. The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was first titled Tactical when the unit was established 1980. The primary function of the unit has always been to handle all Special Threat Situations involving barricaded subjects, sniper incidents, hostage situations, dignitary protection, and crowd control.


The secondary function of the unit is to assist other units within the department in the control of Part I offenses. This goal is addressed by the targeting of known criminals and affecting arrests for crimes in progress. Recently, another very important assignment was given to the SWAT Section. The unit is now responsible for training all sections of the Fort Worth Police Department in dynamic entry techniques for search warrant execution. The SWAT Section also provides other tactical training courses as needed.

With 40 years of practice, and almost 25 years as a police officer James L. Greenstone, Ed.D., has expertise as a police psychologist, a therapist, a teacher, an author, a police officer, a mediator and negotiator, and as a consultant. The field of Crisis Intervention has been his focus.  For the better part of his career as a police officer, he has worked extensively in the field of hostage and crisis negotiations. As a mental health professional and consultant, and as a trainer of negotiators, as well as a member of hostage negotiations teams, he is knowledgeable about negotiator training, current practices in this area, dealing with suicidal and barricaded subjects, negotiations techniques, team development, and team and negotiator interactions with police tactical units. He has participated in numerous hostage, barricaded and suicidal situations, and has practical experience in all aspects of hostage and crisis negotiations team functioning.


According to the book description of On Policing: From Swords Into Plowshares, “With each passing day, tensions and crises are becoming common occurrences in our society. News media, social media, blogs, and personal discussions are escalating despair and anxiety among the public as catastrophes unfold. Law enforcement in particular is being scrutinized on how it handles these situations. Policing needs to evolve to handle modern-day crises, but what’s the best method of reform?

Colonel James L. Greenstone, EdD, JD, DABECI, a current peace officer and police behavioral health specialist, believes the answer lies in thorough crisis-management and de-escalation training for police officers. Although this area of expertise is typically overlooked in police academies, Dr. Greenstone makes a hard case for it to be systematically reinforced. It’s not enough for officers to respond to situations; they also need to know how to de-escalate them and also to be held accountable for ongoing standards of practice.
Filled with thought-provoking assessments and discussions on training, this vital resource defines policing principles and outlines the crisis-management and negotiation skills needed by officers to better service the public and protect themselves in the field. These detailed tools and techniques emphasize and expand on current concepts that will be invaluable to law-enforcement at all levels of service and administration."


According to the book description of, The Elements of Disaster Psychology: Managing Psychosocial Trauma-an Integrated Approach to Force Protection and Acute Care, “This book is design to aid in practical, day-to-day, on-the-scene disaster response and crisis intervention.  The elements are basics of any discipline and knowledge of them is critical to achieving success.  The Elements of Disaster Psychology focuses on those basics that are needed by crisis and disaster responders in the field by providing an integrated approach to force protection and acute care.  The presentation is ordered in such a way as to provide quick and easy access to the information needed from the initial deployment, to final debriefing.”


Dr. James L. Greenstone’s book, The Elements of Police Hostage and Crisis Negotiations, “is designed for day-to-day, on-the-scene use. It is a practical handbook for experienced professionals and novices that can also be used as a supplementary textbook for criminal justice, crisis intervention, and psychology coursework. Each chapter contains useful checklists, procedural notes, tables, strategy worksheets, and forms, and the book includes special indices for quick reference in addition to a traditional index. The book examines the negotiation process from start to finish, including pre-incident preparations, first response responsibilities, responding to the call-out, arriving at the scene, preparing to negotiate, making contact, preparing for the surrender, post-incident tasks, preparing equipment, and more.”


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