INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Negotiators credit teamwork for a successful resolution to a standoff and reported hostage situation on Wednesday.
It happened at the Gateway Motel on Lafayette Road after 44-year old Tracy Lloyd threatened to shoot officers and his girlfriend if they entered his room. The incident prompted a full SWAT and negotiation team call-out. It was a tense situation with multiple lives at risk, but this team was able to successfully convince the man to not only release his girlfriend unharmed, but surrender himself peacefully as well.
It is exactly the ending these officers train, prepare and hope for.
“Yesterday as a team, we helped save two people’s lives and that is an awesome feeling,” said Sgt. Michael Wolley with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Getting to that point wasn’t easy or quick. IMPD’s negotiation team worked to communicate with Lloyd for more than three hours. The conversations often got tense.
“You really rely on your team to kind of keep you level,” said Sgt. Wolley.
“Unlike most people see on TV, the negotiation is a team effort,” said Detective Robert Henderson, another member of IMPD’s negotiation team.
All seven team members were called out for this incident. Each worked a very specific role.
“There is someone gathering intel. Maybe there’s mental health issues in the past, or there’s weapons training that we may need to know about. You have someone who is actually speaking with the person or trying to speak with them,” said Sgt. Wolley.
There are also coaches and captains. Each negotiator is trained for each role.
Negotiators go through a rigorous application process, and only a few who apply are selected for the job. Once on the team, they have to be ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We have to be ready to leave family events, dinners, anything like that to go out to assist someone,” said Detective Henderson.
It’s a big sacrifice, but one these officers say they’re willing to make, especially when they have outcomes like this.
“The biggest part is the satisfaction that you get when the incident is over, knowing that you have saved somebody’s life. That makes it worth everything that you’ve done,” said Detective Henderson.
Tracy Lloyd is facing several preliminary charges including confinement and pointing a firearm.