Integration of Behavioral Threat Management into Fusion Center Operations to Prevent Mass or Targeted Violence
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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Incidents of mass or targeted violence seem to occur without warning and lead us to conclude that nothing may be done to prevent them. These incidents may take the forms of mass shootings, stabbings, vehicular attacks, and other methods designed to kill or injure many people. Opportunities to detect and interdict potential attackers may exist. The literature identifies a host of warning behaviors that may be useful in detecting and disrupting acts of violence. This thesis examines the opportunities available to the nations 78 fusion centers to help prevent mass or targeted violence by learning to conduct behavioral threat assessments and management activities. Analysis of four police agencies that conduct behavioral threat assessments is conducted. Also, the National Network of Fusion Centers is explored to determine whether behavioral threat assessment and management may be a good tool to incorporate into current violence prevention efforts. It was found that fusion centers already perform basic behavioral analysis through the vetting of suspicious activity reports as part of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. Preventive efforts may be more successful should principles of behavioral threat assessment and management be incorporated into fusion center operations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics