Michigan State Police negotiator remains calm in face of I-75 sh - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Michigan State Police negotiator remains calm in face of I-75 shutdown

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
MONROE COUNTY, MI (WTOL) -

It was a traffic nightmare on Thursday in Monroe County as I-75 was completely shut down for hours as law enforcement negotiated with a suicidal man who had a gun.

For 6 hours on Thursday, negotiators with the Michigan State Police spoke with a man who barricaded himself in his vehicle on I-75.

And although the setting was quite different than what they are used to, the approach for negotiators didn't change.

The Michigan State Police negotiators are chosen from the patrol's current ranks and receive special psychological training four times a year.

On Thursday, when trooper Siera Hammond received the call that Juan Ramon Colon was suicidal and had barricaded himself in his vehicle, she knew that empathy was the proper approach to negotiations.

"They want to be heard. A lot of times people, they feel like nobody has ever listened to them. So it's just listening, giving them a chance to say their piece and listen," said Trooper Hammond.

After six hours of constant communication, Colon finally threw down his gun and surrendered to police.

It was a long and costly standoff, as the incident shut down the major interstate all morning.

But Trooper Hammond says the worry about commuters never entered her mind.

"To be honest, there wasn't. I looked at it, it is what it is, it is the situation at hand. It's the situation that was created and we'll deal with it step by step, if we rush it then it could end badly," said Hammond.

Dr Rick Copen, who works in the Behavioral Science Department of the Michigan State Police says the training program for negotiators makes the approach of dealing with suspects much different from standard police work, as the resolution to a situation may take hours of consistent and careful attention.

"People want to be understood, and when we are out there with a situation like this it could be any member of our family that is out there," said Copen.

Colon faces multiple charges

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