(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Lt. Jack Cambria of the New York Police Department, an expert on negotiating with hostage-takers, delivered a lecture to Israeli executives this week. The decorated lieutenant with the New York Police Department was the guest of honor at an event sponsored by the Israel Management Center.
After 30 years on the force, the 58-year-old has seen it all and heard it all, and just before he was about to retire after serving 20 years, Cambria was appointed the commander of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT). “In negotiations, you need to tell the truth, but it isn’t always wise to reveal it,” Cambria said. He never tells his interlocutor to “calm down.”
The most infamous case in Cambria’s long, storied career involved a man who claimed to have been a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. Adrian Leibovich, 44, who was brought in for routine questioning at a police station in Queens. In a moment of rage, he pulled out a pistol and took one of the officers hostage by holding the gun tightly against his temple. Cambria kept his cool, and the two men spoke for hours.
According to Cambria, a number of young Israelis have expressed an interest in the field of hostage negotiation. “Here, people do three years of military service, and then they are given a choice of whether to stay in the army or enlist in the police,” he said. “If anyone wants to work in the field of hostage negotiations, it would be preferable if they amassed experience as a soldier first, because experience is the name of the game in this field.”