Marissa Randazzo – Preventing Mass Shootings: Best Practices in Threat Assessment
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In the wake of targeted attacks like the mass shootings in Las Vegas, at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the assassination attempt on Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, the Newtown elementary school shooting, and the Virginia Tech campus shooting, people often look to law enforcement professionals forwhat can be done to prevent such attacks. Historically, law enforcement personnel have been trained to operate in a reactive mode – responding when a crime is already in progress and investigating crimes that have already occurred. But law enforcement professionals, mental health professionals, and others can play a critical role in preventing assassinations, stalking, and other types targeted attacks. Law enforcement professionals can work with workplaces, schools, colleges, and communities to develop threat assessment programs that can respond to and evaluate threatening and disturbing behavior and prevent targeted attacks. Behavioral threat assessment is a fact-finding process that identifies, investigates, evaluates, and manages threats, stalking, harassment, and other disturbing behaviors. Threat assessment is now considered to be best practice for preventing violence in the workplace, at schools and colleges, in the military, in healthcare settings, and in houses of worship. This presentation will provide an overview of best practices in behavioral threat assessment, elements of effective threat assessment programs, and case studies of attacks and averted incidents.