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Haggling with hostage-takers.

Mild-mannered university professor by day; high-powered hostage negotiator by night--sound more like a movie plot than real life? Believe it or not, Chester L. Quarles, CPP, actually lives this life of international intrigue.

Robert R. Schmidt, Jr., interviewed Quarles for the February 19 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. According to the article, Quarles is a political science professor and director of the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Mississippi. He is also the voice of missionaries and relief workers who are taken hostage.

He decided to become a hostage negotiator after he attended a conference at his Southern Baptist church, The Chronicle said. There he learned that every Christian should use his or her skills to help others.

As a result, in 1985 he and a partner founded Contingency Preparation Consultants, a Christian organization that helps missionaries who are attacked by terrorists. The company also conducts risk assessment seminars and provides security for conferences held in high-risk countries, the article said.

In the summer of 1991, the last time Quarles negotiated, he bargained for the release of two American relief workers who were taken hostage by Afghan rebels operating in the Hassara region of Pakistan.

Quarles told The Chronicle that hostage negotiators spend most of their time waiting, which makes it difficult work for the impatient. "It's hard to fish when they're not biting," he said.

His most recent project is Project Safe, which provides five Christian organizations with computerized travel advisories and risk assessments on 85 countries.
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Title Annotation:Security Spotlight; Chester L. Quarles, hostage negotiator
Publication:Security Management
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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