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SBI Unit Works To Prevent Incidents Of Mass Violence

SBI
Naomi Prioleau
/
WUNC
Law enforcement officials from across the state came to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Police Department to learn the behavioral warning signs of someone who wants to commit an act of mass violence.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has created a special unit called the Behavioral Threat Assessment Unit in hopes it will pre-empt incidents of mass violence.

The unit was first conceived in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting last year.

Members of the unit trained more than a dozen law enforcement officials from across the state on how to identify, investigate and manage threats of mass violence.

“Our hope is to have some type of intervention with individuals that may have a preponderance to this type of violence,” Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Emergency Operations for the UNC system Brent Herron said. “History will show, cases will show, that typically in these types of situations that this is not done in silence.”

Instructors at the training course used examples from shootings at Virginia Tech and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater to highlight behavioral warning signs.

Some of those signs included: sudden change in behavior or appearance, decline in school performance and threatening or engaging in violence.

One of the main goals of the course was to learn how to be proactive instead of reactive.

“This is about saving lives,” SBI Director Bob Schurmeier said. “This is about heading off people intent upon creating of mass chaos and violence out there.”

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