Crisis Leadership Strategies

To save the five – year old boy’s life, Ethan, the military team employed decision- making crisis leadership strategy. The cops had to decide how to approach the case to make the suspect, Jimmy Dykes not harm Ethan. ABC News on a YouTube Video stated that the police chose their words carefully when addressing the members of the press because they knew Dykes was watching the television (2013). In one statement the police said that they thanked Dykes for taking care of the little boy. This is intelligent because it could be hard for Dykes to hurt the boy after being appreciated. Also, before Dykes commits suicide, he teaches Ethan how to use the second ID to kill himself. On seeing this, the police team makes a firm decision of rescuing Ethan by all means before he kills himself.

The other strategies displayed during the crisis are training and planning. The police used a practice Bunker to practice for a raid to save the boy (FOX News, 2013). The bunker that Dykes had made was one of its kind such that it was so deep. On top of that, he had loaded the communication pipes with grenades and explosives. Dealing with such a bunker needed training. The training took place during the six-day standoff period. About planning, they had to plan their game well because they knew that Dykes was armed and he could have harmed the boy. They prepared and relied on every tool at their disposal to save the boy’s life. 


If I were the senior FBI agent, I could have engaged a friendly communication with the hostage-taker before he committed suicide. The reason being he had placed a communication channel that would aid in that. Telling him neither to hurt the boy nor himself and that if he complied there would be a reward for him. That would have stopped him from committing suicide.


ABC NEWS. (2013). How Cops Saved A 5-year-old boy named Ethan From Underground Alabama Bunker [Video].

FOX NEWS. (2013). Military tactics, equipment helped authorities end Alabama hostage standoff. Retrieved 9 September 2020, from