Are you seeking a role that pushes your boundaries, tests your abilities and places you at the forefront of resolving intense situations? Then look no further. The Crisis Negotiation Unit at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department could be the team for you, where adrenaline meets empathy, and every negotiation is a chance to make a life-changing difference. 

Right now, around the world, countless negotiations are underway, and the results will influence life and death. 

“Our crisis negotiator unit’s top priority is de-escalating volatile life and death incidents. They use negotiation tactics to prevent injury or death during armed standoffs, suicide attempts, hostage situations, kidnappings and other high-pressure responses,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “As certified law enforcement officers who take on this role as a collateral duty, they train in basic crisis negotiation fundamentals, case studies and scenario-based exercises. The unit is an important part of our efforts to protect our community.”


On average, 35 percent of crisis negotiation calls take between two-four hours.

“It’s been challenging, but in a good way. If we talk about good stress and bad stress, then it is good stress!” says Cameron Sherban, an officer of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Crisis Negotiation Unit. Although this unit’s actions are highly pressured, the time and efforts to resolve critical circumstances are very rewarding.

With their effective listening skills, patience, adaptability and determination, crisis negotiators can take complex situations and work through them in ways that not only benefit subjects and victims, but the community as a whole.  

Jason Willoughby from South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy emphasizes the essence of these skills, stating, “Having the skills and ability to bring someone back to rationale, to a sense of normalcy, and to have a circumstance end peacefully, is everything that a law enforcement officer hopes for.”

Sherban sheds light on the urgency of the role, explaining how negotiators must grasp what a person needs to peacefully resolve a situation. He emphasizes the pivotal role of de-escalation, highlighting how crucial it is to bring individuals out of a crisis state before productive communication can occur. 

Although they hope their skills are rarely needed, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Crisis Negotiators stand ready when the call comes. The training, dedication and compassion instilled in every negotiator ensure they are equipped to handle any crisis with precision and empathy.

Joining the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Crisis Negotiation Unit isn’t just a career choice; it’s an opportunity to be part of a select group dedicated to making a positive impact. If you’re someone who thrives under pressure, values empathy and seeks to be at the forefront of resolving critical incidents, visit the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department website to browse current jobs and apply online today. 

At the heart of the Crisis Negotiation Unit is the comprehensive 40-hour certification course, a training program that equips negotiators with the tools and strategies to defuse crises. As explained by Willoughby, this training is critical in learning how to compromise – a skill indispensable in navigating tense circumstances. 

In addition to the Crisis Negotiation Unit, you can explore other law enforcement divisions and opportunities available within the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department; there’s a place for every individual driven by a passion for serving and protecting the Lexington County community.