Department of Justice Launches Program to Help Police Respond to Mass Violence
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs today announced that it will begin offering peer-to-peer consultation and assistance to law enforcement leaders whose communities experience incidents of mass violence. The program, called the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative, is funded by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and is managed in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“No community should have to endure the wide-spread suffering caused by an incident of mass violence. But if such a tragedy does occur, we must be prepared to lend our full support,” said Amy L. Solomon, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. “I am very pleased that our partners at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and seasoned and respected professionals across the spectrum, are willing to work with us to come to the aid of communities in times of crisis.”
Beginning today, law enforcement leaders will have access to experienced professionals if an attack happens and tragedy strikes their community. Upon request, BJA and the IACP will make subject matter experts available to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies when a mass violence incident occurs.
The BJA/IACP Mass Violence Peer to Peer Advisory Team comprises law enforcement personnel who have experience navigating acts of mass violence in their own communities. It will also include community and faith-based representatives and providers of psychological services. Together, these experts will institute a trauma-informed approach to community healing and will work to ensure officer and community safety and wellness. The Mass Violence Peer to Peer Advisory Team will provide ongoing assistance, information and resources to help law enforcement and communities.
“No community wants a tragedy like this, but with the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative, communities will not have to face this alone and will have the resources they need to begin the healing process,” said IACP President Dwight Henninger. “Mass Violence Peer-to-Peer Advisory Team personnel bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will provide timely and valuable assistance to law enforcement leaders and their communities in the wake of these horrific events.”
The new initiative builds on other OJP efforts to address community crises and mass casualty events, including BJA’s Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program, the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program supported by OJP’s Office for Victims of Crime and OVC’s Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism Toolkit, which assists communities in developing a comprehensive victim assistance plan for responding to incidents of mass violence and terrorism.
For more information, please visit https://bja.ojp.gov/program/mass-violence-advisory-initiative/overview.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.